By RYAN GORMAN
A pair of startling new statistics about the lethal Ebola outbreak in West Africa has been released by the World Health Organization.
A WHO official said the death rate in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone has increased to 70 percent and there could be as many as 10,000 new cases per week within two months, the Associated Press is reporting.
Ebola is now being classified as a "high mortality disease" by WHO assistant director-general Dr. Bruce Aylward, who spoke during a Tuesday press conference.
Aywlard warned that if the response to the disease is not immediately stepped up, "a lot more people will die."
The past four weeks have seen Ebola diagnoses reach about 1,000 per week, he explained. The WHO is working to contain about 70 percent of the cases within the next 60 days in an effort to reverse the epidemic.
The UN-affiliated organization announced Monday that the Ebola death toll has increased to 4,447 people out of the 8,914 diagnosed. All except Thomas Duncan, who passed away in a Dallas hospital, and a patient in Germany, died in Africa.
Aylward called the Ebola outbreak "the most severe, acute health emergency seen in modern times."
A number of areas have seen decline, Aylward said Monday, but "that doesn't mean they will get to zero."
Aylward said the WHO is fighting an uphill battle against West Africa's broken health care system and was strategically setting up clinics to treat the virus instead of quarantining people.
"It would be horrifically unethical to say that we're just going to isolate people," said Aylward.
Protective equipment is also being handed out to the family of those infected despite Nina Pham, a Dallas nurse said to have been wearing the gear while treating Duncan, contracting the disease while working in a hospital.
Her fiancé and dog have since been quarantined.