WHO: Ebola infection rate ‘slowing’ in Liberia


The deadly spread of Ebola in Liberia, the country hit hardest by the outbreak, is slowing, the World Health Organization (WHO) said, adding that the fight against the virus is still far from won.

WHO Assistant Director General Bruce Aylward said the number of burials and new admissions had fallen. “Do we feel confident that the response is now getting an upper hand on the virus? Yes, we are seeing slowing rate of new cases, very definitely.”

“We’re seeing a reversal of that rapid rate of increase to the point that there seems to be a decline right now,” he added.

However, the WHO official rejected any suggestion that the Ebola crisis was over.

The WHO later said the number of cases globally had risen from approximately 3,000 to 13,703 in recent months. But Aylward explained this increase was due to data update.

The international health organisation also said that almost 300 fewer people have died from Ebola in Liberia than previously thought. But in Sierra Leone, more than 200 deaths were reported.

On Wednesday, the US hailed the progress made by West African nations and foreign donors for their efforts in tackling the outbreak. However, US President Barack Obama warned: “This is still a severe, significant outbreak…We’ve got a long way to go.”

Meanwhile, a group of British charities launched an appeal to raise funds to contain the deadly spread of Ebola which has killed almost 5,000 people in West Africa.

Many countries around the globe are mobilising thousands of personnel and pouring billions of dollars in a bid to control the Ebola outbreak. Western nations have been facing a growing backlash at what has been seen as a slow response to the crisis.