NBC News reports:
There may be signs of hope in Liberia, but the epidemic of Ebola in West Africa is getting worse, not better, and it’s going to take a lot more work to control it, United Nations officials said Friday.
Concerted efforts might be able to end it by the middle of next year, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon told reporters.
“There has been some welcome progress,” Ban said. “The results are uneven. The rate of transmission continues to worsen.”
Three top international leaders — Ban, World Health Organization director-general Dr. Margaret Chan and World Bank president Jim Yong Kim — used uncharacteristically strong language to urge more cooperation, coordination and a faster, sustained international response to the epidemic.
WHO released new statistics on Ebola that show “intense” transmission in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. “There have been 15,351 reported Ebola cases in eight countries since the outbreak began, with 5,459 reported deaths,” WHO said.And, from The New York Times:
Most of the casualties are in the three most afflicted countries: Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
But the focus of the message of Mr. Ban and Dr. Chan was their concern about Mali, a vast country where the government does not have full control and where a United Nations peacekeeping force is deployed. At least six people in Mali have died of Ebola.
A successful effort to halt Ebola infections in Mali last month, caused by an infected 2-year-old from Guinea, has now been overshadowed by a second and far more serious source of infection, from an imam from Guinea. He had been misdiagnosed with a kidney problem after traveling to Bamako, the capital, to seek treatment.
Dr. Chan said nearly 500 people in Mali and Guinea had come into contact with the imam, whose body had been returned home and been given a ritual Muslim funeral.The article now indicates that the disease may not come under control (i.e., overall infections falling) until the middle of next year.
Mr. Ban said that a team led by Dr. Chan was headed to Mali later Friday and that a new support center would be established there.