Ebola Epidemic Not Even Close to Over, UN Officials Say

Saturday, November 22, 2014
By Paul Martin

By Maggie Fox
NBCNews.com
November 21st 2014

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 all six people infected with Ebola in Mali have now died. “The new chain of transmission in Mali is of deep concern,” Ban said.

WHO and other health experts are tracking close to 500 people who may have been exposed in that outbreak, which is linked to a religious leader from Guinea who died after traveling to Bamako from Guinea.

“This epidemic is not close to being over. Our end game is not near,” said Kim.

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