The outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa reached 15,351 cases in what is the worst oubreak of the disease in history, new figures from the World Health Organisation show on Friday. There have also been 5,459 reported deaths linked to the virus, including nearly 3,000 in Liberia alone, according to the latest figures from the WHO. Liberia, along with Guinea and Sierra Leone, have been hardest hit by the outbreak, accounting for almost all the cases and fatalities.
After his recent herniated-disk surgery, Peter Drier was ready for the $56,000 hospital charge, the $4,300 anesthesiologist bill, and the $133,000 fee for orthopedist. All were either in-network under his insurance or had been previously negotiated. But as Elisabeth Rosenthal recently explained in her great New York Times piece, he wasn’t quite prepared for a $117,000 bill from an “assistant surgeon”—an out-of-network doctor that the hospital tacked on at the last minute.
The outbreak of Ebola virus disease in west Africa is unprecedented in many ways, including the high proportion of doctors, nurses, and other health care workers who have been infected, warns the World Health Organization. Despite all precautions possible, more than 240 health care workers have developed the disease in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone, and more than 120 have died. Simply put, they conclude, the current outbreak is different.