The WHO advises caution as Ebola cases decline. No matter how low the number of new cases of the deadly disease, caution should always be first, the World Health Organization advises, as outbreaks are extremely likely, easy to start and hard to contain.
With the efforts of many African countries, the common foe of Ebola appears to have been definitively thwarted. Yet, now is not the time to lie down and relax the measures being taken and the money being spent on the prevention and treatment efforts.
Some of the African leaders seem to have already taken for granted the decreasing number of reported cases, as a sign that the virus is going back to only a few cases per year, as was the case before the devastating outbreak.
Last week, only four cases were reported in Guinea, while Sierra Leone confirmed three, while Liberia was declared, officially, Ebola-free. Still, the WHO also warned that the middle of the three countries had one case that could pose a severe risk.
A man had went to the hospital in Freetown on July 19th complaining of a severe headache. Officials apparently did not think too much of it, and only gave him some head pills and let him off. Ebola is just one case where treating the symptoms instead of the underlying condition can prove fatal. And fast. On July 21st, when he had already traveled from outside the capital to the district of Tonkolili, he went back to another medical center where the personnel realized the potential disaster and immediately confined him to an ICU. Two days later, the test results came back. The man had Ebola. Sadly, though, he never found out, as he had died just before the results came in.
In the five days, the man went from a mere headache to being declared dead. In the first two days, before being put in isolation, it’s estimated that the patient came into contact with 500 people, all in Tonkolili. Earlier this month, a new case of Ebola had emerged in the region, after a whole 150 days of being free of the virus.
Despite these worrying news, Ernest Bai Koroma, the president of Sierra Leone, announced an economic restart plan through which the nation would kick start the private sector once more to sustain economic growth, while creating jobs. Still this $804 million plan might prove premature, as Ebola is still not over, and could reemerge literally overnight.
Image source: dailystar.com.lb