Almost 4,900 children in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have lost one or both parents to Ebola this year, the UN children’s agency has said.
Finding care for them is proving incredibly difficult because the children are stigmatised, Unicef added.
Some are “being fed by neighbours but no more”, the agency said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says more than 3,000 people have died of Ebola in West Africa – the world’s most deadly outbreak of the virus.
Ebola virus disease (EVD)
- Symptoms include high fever, bleeding and central nervous system damage
- Spread by body fluids, such as blood and saliva
- Fatality rate can reach 90% – but current outbreak has mortality rate of about 70%
- Incubation period is two to 21 days
- There is no proven vaccine or cure
- Supportive care such as rehydrating patients who have diarrhoea and vomiting can help recovery
- Fruit bats, a delicacy for some West Africans, are considered to be virus’s natural host
Ebola virus: Busting the myths