Africare In the News

Spanish Outbreak Officially Ends

The WHO declared last week that the Ebola Outbreak in Spain is officially over. There was only ever one case of Ebola in Spain, but the case is notable because it was the outbreak’s first human-to-human transmission of the virus outside Africa. The health care worker who contracted Ebola in October was free of the virus later that month, and 42 days have since passed with no new cases in the country (WHO).

Sierra Leone Tops Case Totals

Sierra Leone is now the worst affected country in the Ebola outbreak based on total case numbers with 7,798 cases (Outbreak News Today). The country has seen about 1,400 fewer Ebola deaths than Liberia, but whereas the rate of new Ebola cases appears to be stabilizing in Liberia, Sierra Leone continues to struggle. Eleven Sierra Leonean doctors have contracted Ebola, and now 10 of them have died, prompting junior doctors in the country to go on strike on Monday demanding that the government ensure life-saving equipment is available for better treatment of infected health care workers (CBS News). Severe measures to prevent transmission continue with more than half the country’s population under quarantine (Daily Mail).

Liberia’s Elections Affected

Although previous reports indicated that a prohibition on large gatherings to prevent Ebola transmission would not apply to political rallies in advance of Senatorial elections planned for December 16, late last week President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf imposed a ban on political rallies in Montserrado County, which includes Liberia’s capital Monrovia, that would extend 30 days beyond the election (NY Times). However, on Sunday Liberia’s Supreme Court lifted the president’s order and is now hearing arguments from political and civil society groups petitioning to postpone the election until Ebola is eradicated (Japan Times).

Cases, Deaths and Locations

As of December 9 the totals, including cases in Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain and the United States, stand at 17,834 cases with 6,346 deaths (CDC).

While progress is evident in some countries, others continue to suffer. And even where progress directly against Ebola transmission has been achieved, the virus is still destabilizing national systems and threatening to reverse hard-won development gains. Help West Africans win their fight against Ebola by giving now.