World's extraordinary response is defeating Ebola, says UN chief

Dr Nabarro said a month ago that the number of Ebola cases was probably doubling every three to four weeks

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The Independent Online

The UN’s Ebola chief says an extraordinary global response over the past month has made him hopeful the outbreak could end in 2015, though he cautions that the fight to contain the disease is not even a quarter done.

“Until the last case of Ebola is under treatment, we have to stay on full alert,” said David Nabarro. “It’s still bad.”

Dr Nabarro said a month ago that the number of Ebola cases was probably doubling every three to four weeks. He warned then that without a mass global mobilisation, “the world will have to live with the Ebola virus forever” and that the response needed to be 20 times greater. But in the past four weeks, the rate of infections seems to be slowing in some parts of West Africa. In other hotspots, he says, it appears to be expanding.

 

On Wednesday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported a total of 13,042 cases of Ebola in West Africa and 4,818 deaths. The death toll has risen to 4,960, the WHO confirmed yesterday.

Dr Nabarro said there were five times the number of beds for treatment in the three hardest-hit countries than there were two months ago, which was helping to reduce cases, along with improving efforts to find people with infections and trace their contacts.

AP

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