GENEVA - The number of people believed to have died from Ebola in west Africa has risen sharply to 467, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Tuesday.
Giving the latest update on the disease which has hit Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the WHO said there have now been 759 confirmed or suspected cases of Ebola in the region.
These figures represent a 38 per cent spike in the number of deaths and a 27 per cent rise in the number of overall cases since the WHO's last update on June 24.
The data was issued on the eve of a meeting in Ghana by 11 west African health ministers trying to find a way to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus in history.
Ebola is a form of haemorrhagic fever which is deadly in up to 90 per cent of cases.
It can fell victims within days, causing severe fever and muscle pain, vomiting and diarrhoea - and in some cases, organ failure and unstoppable bleeding.
Guinea has been hardest-hit by the outbreak, and according to the latest figures, some 413 cases and 303 deaths from haemorrhagic fever in the country are now believed to be due to Ebola.
Neighbouring Liberia has seen 107 cases and 65 deaths, while Sierra Leone has seen 239 patients believed to be suffering from the virus, of whom, 99 have died.
The data from the WHO includes cases that have been confirmed in a laboratory, as well as probable and suspected cases of Ebola virus.