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London — The World Health Organization says Ebola is now believed to have killed more than 4,800 people globally and that the spread of the lethal virus remains “persistent and widespread” in West Africa.

In a new update issued on Wednesday, WHO said there have been 9,936 probable, suspected and confirmed cases of Ebola, mostly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. It said transmission remains “intense” in the capital cities and that cases continue to be underreported.

WHO noted a lack of available beds in Ebola clinics is forcing many families to care for sick relatives at home, risking further spread of the virus. Liberia had the worst bed shortage, with only 23 percent of patients hospitalized in a clinic. WHO estimated 4,388 beds are still needed in West Africa.

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