Ebola in Africa continues to advance. The data developed at noon by Bruce Aylward, director -general of WHO Emergencies are that have already passed the 13,000 cases (last count was just over 10,000) and 5,000 deaths (4,900 were four days ago). But the WHO representative admitted that they saw “cautiously optimistic ” the situation in the worst affected country, Liberia. Although the data have to be caught with pins for the problems of general -in notification, the WHO assumes that instances are declared twice; A recent study in Science estimated that were 2.5 times those reported, and MSF estimates that are triple- there are several indicators that point to a reduction in the rate of transmission of Ebola in the country: the first, which has gone from weekly growth of over 30% in early September to an average increase of about 8% in the last three weeks of October.

The second indicator is striking: in the last week, the Liberian authorities have reported that they have no patients for all beds equipped to care for the sick Ebola. There are some free. “There are about 100, and the number varies a lot,” nuanced, always prudent, the representative of WHO, but are a symptom of the situation. ” That does not mean that fewer patients because they may have been in remote places,” insisted Aylward. ” It does not mean you do not miss new facilities, because the situation can change.”

Aylward believes there are several factors behind this decline if confirmed. First, ” the increase in burial insurance “; Second, the increase of information to the public, third, better control of the contacts of those affected and, fourth, the improved facilities. Although everything that has to do with this disease, given the precariousness of health systems affected, must be viewed with caution, the data broadly handled WHO are that patients who fail to have a center mortality of 80 %, and those that are admitted 60%, and despite the fact that they can provide minimal care, Aylward has warned. With this, the conclusion is made ??that “it seems that the traditional control Ebola can work even on a large scale,” he said. This refers to the measures already studied (isolate patients and monitor infected) may be sufficient to halt the outbreak. This is important because other options (vaccines, treatments) will take.

The difference in survival if you go to a specialist or unimportant place. So WHO had agreed with NGOs, donors and affected countries to open 56 centers in Africa to treat Ebola as part of its strategy to combat the disease. Of these, ” 15 are operational, 22 are engaged, but there are 19 who are looking for medical staff,” Aylward said. ” Since our meeting two weeks ago we have more medical equipment, but still missing,” he added. “These 56 centers expect to be sufficient, because they are planned considering the worst case scenario.”

One of the problems getting volunteers apart from the obvious of how dangerous the work, is the difficulty for the repatriation of ill health personnel. To this we must add the quarantines are imposed in some places like New York and other US states to all comers, not having any symptoms of the affected countries. The WHO representative said that ” the repatriation was a priority ” of the organization, and that he was working for that was not a problem. But he said that was not the only solution. Besides extreme measures to avoid contagion, said that ” ideally ” countries should have facilities to treat level without having to move. ” This would benefit from being in the hands of experienced staff accustomed to dealing with Ebola.”