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WHO Draws up Plan to Eradicate Ebola Virus
May 08, 2015

The World Health Organization unveiled a plan to eradicate the deadly Ebola virus, aiming to identify and isolate the dwindling number of new cases by the end of May. WHO said, "There is still a considerable effort required to stop all chains of transmission in the affected countries, prevent the spread of the disease to neighbouring countries and to safely re-activate life-saving essential health services.”

  • The WHO's Strategic Response Plan is a follow-up on the roadmap it launched last August as the Ebola virus began spreading exponentially.

  • In its new plan, the UN health agency stressed the importance of maintaining the massive efforts to rid the worst-affected nations—Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone—of the viral disease, cases of which have already fallen sharply.

  • According to the latest numbers, around 26,300 people have so far been infected with the virus, and nearly 10,900 of them have died.

  • At the time, just over 3,000 cases and 1,500 deaths had been tallied, but the UN agency warned the caseload could top 20,000.

  • In recent months only a few dozen new confirmed cases have been registered each week, compared to the peaks of over 800 cases per week in October 2014.

  • Liberia, once the hardest-hit country, has reported no new cases of Ebola since the end of March, and appears to be on track to be declared Ebola free.

  • WHO has warned that the fight will not be over until the deadly virus has been completely eradicated.

  • Limiting the spread of the virus in the coastal areas of the two countries before the rainy season's imminent onset was crucial. Among the concerns still plaguing the two countries are continued "Ebola deaths in the community and numerous instances of unsafe burials" of the highly contagious bodies.

  • A number of new cases are also popping up among people not known to have been in contact with previous cases, or who cannot be linked to known chains of transmission.

  • The priority is to identify and isolate all new cases by the end of May, and to confirm that they have come from known transmission chains and contact lists.

  • Maintaining capacity at a district, national and regional level, and continued vigilance globally was also important.


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