The World Health Organization said Thursday it aimed to reverse the spread of Ebola within three months, but warned that the caseload in West Africa's epidemic could eventually top 20,000.
In a new anti-Ebola plan, the UN health agency said it aimed to reverse the trend within three months, with the final aim of stopping "all residual transmission within 6-9 months".
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It said the current case-count -- 3,062, with 1,552 deaths -- was likely several times lower than the actual number, and that the number of infections "could exceed 20,000 over the course of this emergency".
"This Roadmap assumes that in many areas of intense transmission the actual number of cases may be 2-4 fold higher than that currently reported," it said.
"It acknowledges that the aggregate case load of (Ebola) could exceed 20,000 over the course of this emergency," it added.
The plan called for a massive ramping up of efforts to contain and defeat the epidemic.
It put a price tag of $490 million on a six-month campaign, saying the money would need to come from WHO coffers as well as other aid agencies and governments.
"This indicative budget does not include the costs of broader support for essential services in the countries worst affected, nor the costs of health systems recovery and strengthening in these areas," it noted.