Sierra Leone has reported 121 deaths from Ebola in a single day on Saturday 4 October.

The country's Emergency Operations Centre put the total number of deaths at 678, up from 557, and also showed 81 new cases, reports Reuters.

Sierra Leone and Liberia continue to reel under the onslaught of the virus, which has largely been controlled in Nigeria and Guinea.

According to David Quammen, author of Ebola: The Natural and Human History, the virus has visited an indirect toll on affected communities in the form of the destruction of the economy and education, as well as the health care system.

"People are dying more of malaria and pneumonia and childhood diarrheal diseases because the health care system has been overwhelmed with Ebola. And there's a real possibility that if it's not stopped, it'll destroy Liberia for generations to come," he told the National Geographic.

As Quammen speaks in the interview, the need for educating the people in these poverty ridden areas is crucial. Having been part of an expedition that took him through parts of Africa stricken by Ebola in the 90s, he notes how the disease spreading from animals can be controlled if people are made aware that eating meat of dead animals is highly risky.

The west African region is unfortunately mired in a belief in sorcery and black magic, which makes it difficult to enforce safety protocols required to contain the spread of Ebola.

Lack of infrastructure and safety equipment is playing a big role in the out-of-control spread of Ebola with treatment centres having to send back sick people who in turn infect family members.

The US military personnel deployed in the area are addressing this need for treatment centres by putting up make-shift clinics. But as observed by volunteer groups, the numbers of infected people are far more than the new clinics being put up.

The overall death toll from the epidemic reached 3,439 out of a total of 7,492 cases in West Africa.