, WASHINGTON, United States, Oct 22 – A US photojournalist joined a Spanish nurse in being declared free of Ebola on Tuesday, as the United States tightened restrictions on travelers from the West African countries at the epicenter of the outbreak.
And in West Africa, medical charity MSF, at the forefront of the Ebola fight, announced Tuesday it had saved a 1,000th patient from the deadly virus.
The survivor stories, however, came as cases continued to soar in West Africa, where more than 4,500 people have died. The epidemic, which is proving fatal in 70 percent of cases, is already the worst Ebola outbreak in history.
Experts warn the infection rate could reach 10,000 a week by early December,
The hemorrhagic fever, for which there is no licensed vaccine or cure, has hit hardest in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, but several isolated cases among health workers in Spain and the United States raised fears of the epidemic spreading globally.
The World Health Organization said Tuesday it would probe complaints that it had been slow to wake up to the scale of Ebola, but insisted the focus now must be on battling the epidemic.
“We believe in the virtue of transparency and accountability. WHO will do that, but in the future. Now our focus is on the response,” she told reporters in Geneva.
Critics have questioned why WHO only declared an international health emergency in August, eight months after the epidemic began in Guinea.