Ebola treatment in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone has overtaken Liberia in terms of numbers of Ebola cases. (Francisco Leong/AFP/Getty)

The toll in the Ebola epidemic has risen to 6,388 deaths out of 17,942 cases as of Dec. 7, its spread fuelled principally by new infections in Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday.

Sierra Leone, a former British colony, reported 397 new confirmed cases in the week to Dec. 7, three times the combined total in the other two centres of the disease, Guinea and Liberia, the UN health agency said in its latest update.

Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone continue to account for all but 15 deaths in the world's worst Ebola outbreak.

While Sierra Leone has overtaken Liberia in terms of numbers of cases — 7,897 against 7,719 — it has reported only 1,768 deaths against 3,177, according to WHO figures.

Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah, Sierra Leone's Minister of Health and Sanitation, attended a WHO meeting on Ebola in Geneva on Wednesday.