The world's attention may have largely shifted away from the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, but on the ground in Sierra Leone it continues to ravage communities. The virus' ongoing scourge there has driven the current outbreak's death toll to a total of 6,388, according to the World Health Organization.
There had been 17,942 cases of Ebola around the globe as of Dec. 7, the date the WHO data was compiled. The virus' spread was limited mostly to Sierra Leone, where 397 new confirmed cases were confirmed in the week ending Dec. 7, which is double the total combined number of new cases in Guinea and Liberia over that time period, Reuters reported.
Liberia was at one time the undisputed epicenter of Ebola with dozens of new cases per day and little hope for a rapid end to the disease. Ebola is still a concern there, but the efforts of its government and medical personnel, combined with those of the U.S. Army, foreign aid groups and others have come together to beat back its spread there.
Sierra Leone, on the other hand, has found itself unable to make similar strides. The country is poorer and less urban than Liberia, and it has been exceedingly difficult to distribute information about how to avoid contracting and spreading the disease to its outer communities. Every single county in Sierra Leone has been touched by the virus.
Though Sierra Leone has now had more cases of Ebola than Liberia -- 7,897 versus 7,719 -- Sierra Leone has had only 1,768 deaths. Liberia has had 3,177, according to the WHO.