Ebola OutbreakA chilling report by WHO this week announced that the Ebola outbreak could infect more than 20,000 people within nine months, and efforts to halt its spread could cost up to half a billion dollars.

The report noted that epidemic “continues to accelerate” with more than 40 percent of reported cases occurring within just the last three weeks. The outbreak, which began in February, has affected 3,069 people in four West Africa nations — Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone — and 1,552 have already died.

“In many areas of intense transmission the actual number of cases may be four fold higher than currently reported.

The new roadmap is to stop ongoing Ebola transmission worldwide within 6–9 months, while rapidly managing the consequences of any further international spread. The plan also recognizes the need to address, in parallel, the outbreak’s broader socioeconomic impact.

More than 120 health workers have been killed by the disease. The WHO said it was it was launching a $490 million campaign to strengthen laboratory facilities and add staff with expertise in treating the Ebola Virus Disease, and called for the establishment of isolation centers and supervised burials of victims.

There is no vaccine for Ebola, but some experimental treatments have shown some signs of success in treating the often-fatal disease.