UNITED NATIONS, June 18 (Xinhua) -- The death toll from an outbreak of Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone has hit 337 since February, a UN spokesman said here Wednesday, quoting data from the World Health Organization (WHO).
The WHO said 47 new cases and 14 deaths had been reported in the region in the last week alone, Farhan Haq, the deputy UN spokesman, said at a daily news briefing here.
"Guinea remains the worst affected country, with 264 Ebola- related deaths, but the toll in Sierra Leone and Liberia has recently spiked, hitting 49 and 24 respectively," he said.
"WHO and partners continue to provide the necessary technical expertise to the Ministries of Health to stop community and health facility transmission of the virus," he said.
"Based on current information, no travel or trade restrictions to Guinea, Liberia, or Sierra Leone are recommended at this point, " Haq said.
In February 2014, the first Ebola virus outbreak registered in West Africa occurred in Guinea. By April 23, the total number of suspected and confirmed cases in the Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever (EHF) outbreak had increased to 242, including 142 deaths at a case fatality rate of 58.7 percent.
Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976 in two simultaneous outbreaks in Sudan and in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), taking its name from the Ebola River where the DRC outbreak was found in a nearby village.
The WHO defines the Ebola virus disease, formerly known as EHF, as "a severe, often fatal illness" and "one of the world's most virulent diseases."