Here’s some great news out of West Africa: according to the World Health Organization, the outbreak is down to its last couple of cases, with no new cases reported since early August.
The organization and local health officials are moving aggressively against potential cases as they track down and isolate the last identified patients currently infected with the disease:
The Ebola response has moved to “phase 3”’, focusing on tracking each and every chain of Ebola virus transmission and closing down the remaining chains as quickly as possible. Sierra Leone is now down to a single chain of transmission, which started in Freetown but sparked a cluster of cases in Tonkolili, in the northern region of the country.
This is great news, because patients for the disease dwindle, isolating and treating becomes easier, and the potential for the wild transmission rates that we saw at the beginning of the outbreak drops.
Part of this comes in part to a year’s worth of education and prevention campaigns, which have supported healthcare worker’s efforts in the year since the virus spread uncontrollably.
Still, there’s a considerable amount of work to be done. In another update from the WHO, researchers and doctors in Sierra Leone are finding that parents are incredibly reluctant to bring their children to doctors, which could mean that the last couple of cases in the country are understated.
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