Ebola Cases On The Decline In West Africa But One Expert Says The Health System In Place Remains Far From Ideal

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Is Ebola really on the way out in Sierra Leone? It seems the combined effort of the WHO, the international community  and the local government seem to be working at last. The number of cases continued to decline for 2 weeks.

Let’s not forget the health workers both local and international staff who have been tirelessly working to contain the infection. Several of them have been infected by the disease as well and not a few of died.

And for those health personnel who survived, may they become living testaments of what highly infectious diseases can do and with people like them, there is always hope of healing.

The prediction is by June Liberia will be free of the Ebola virus. This is on the condition at least 85 percent of those who are infected will receive proper hospital care. This was revealed in the study done by PLOS Biology. Patients who continue remain untreated will die and they will infect others.

The battle to contain the Ebola virus is still going on and it will be several months yet before the target date arrives. The situation in West Africa is far better now since the epidemic started since last September. It was then that the Disease Control and Prevention estimated the number of cases may reach 1.4 million by now. The determined effort to put it under control has prevented it from happening.

The US government sent its military  and aid workers to help combat the disease. They built hospitals, treated victims and did other chores to help stop the spread of the disease. Other nations also sent their health workers and the international effort made it possible to contain outbreak leading to its slow down. However the WHO in a report, has been critical of world governments for being too slow in responding.

The WHO in a press release last Wednesday reported the were 21,926 cases out of which 8,429 have died.

Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota expressed his concern about  Guinea where the outbreak began. The health system there according to him remains weak.

West African nations need to “keep the pressure on or these numbers will go back up,” Osterholm says. “Think of this epidemic as a big forest fire. If you suppress it in most of the forest, you can put it out. But you have to suppress all of it or it will come back.”

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa “will not be over until it’s completely over,” Osterholm says. “Remember, the entire epidemic started with just one case.”

 

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