Ebola rates drop in Liberia

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported a decline in the number of new Ebola cases across Liberia, the West African country hardest hit by the disease.

The WHO is confident that its response to the virus has given them the upper hand, according to WHO’s Bruce Aylward, assistant director-general in charge of operational response, in a BBC News article published Oct. 29.

However, he warned that the crisis was far from over.

“I am terrified that the information will be misinterpreted and people will start to think, ‘Oh, great, this is under control,’” said Aylward in an Oct. 31 article from The Daily Beast.

“That’s like saying your pet tiger is under control. This is a very, very dangerous disease.”

In the same Beast article, WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said, “The sense down there is that we have to understand what [this decrease] is.”

WHO officials aren’t sure if there are truly fewer new cases of Ebola, or if an overwhelmed medical staff has stopped reporting cases. New Ebola patients could also decide to not go to the hospital.

Globally, the number of cases has risen to more than 3,000 since its last report. Out of the 4,920 deaths due to Ebola, only 10 of them have been outside of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

The WHO asserts that the mortality rate in those three countries stands at 70% for Ebola cases. The numbers they give are approximations, and it is too early for optimism for the end of the Ebola crisis.