WRAPUP 2-Evidence suggests Ebola toll vastly underestimated -WHO

Thu Aug 14, 2014 7:58pm EDT
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* Guinea declares health emergency over virus

* Epidemic puts strain on health services

* Moody's says Ebola to impact economic growth

* Africa faces problem of perception over virus (Recasts with comment on death toll, possible food drops)

By Saliou Samb

CONAKRY, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Staff with the World Health Organisation battling an Ebola outbreak in West Africa see evidence the numbers of reported cases and deaths vastly underestimates the scale of the outbreak, the U.N. agency said on its website on Thursday.

The death toll from the world's worst outbreak of Ebola stood on Wednesday at 1,069 from 1,975 confirmed, probable and suspected cases, the agency said. The majority were in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, while four people have died in Nigeria.

The agency's apparent acknowledgement the situation is worse than previously thought could spur governments and aid organisations to take stronger measures against the virus.

"Staff at the outbreak sites see evidence that the numbers of reported cases and deaths vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak," the organisation said on its website.   Continued...