posted at 01:50
Author: The Associated Press
WHO says Ebola epidemic in Liberia may be slowing down
The rate of new Ebola infections in Liberia appears to be declining and could represent a genuine trend, the World Health Organization said Wednesday, but the epidemic is far from over. Throughout the Ebola outbreak, WHO has warned that its figures have been incomplete and the number of cases are likely vastly underreported. The slowdown could be attributable to a rapid increase in safe burials of Ebola victims, an uptick in the number of sick people being isolated and major public awareness campaigns on how to stop transmission. Dan Epstein, a spokesman for the agency, said that was because laboratory investigations showed that cases previously thought to be Ebola were not. Ebola outbreaks come in waves, warned Benoit Carpentier, a spokesman for the International Federation of the Red Cross. She said her team has heard of people doing their own burials in order to avoid a government order that Ebola victims in Monrovia be cremated; the government has also cited fear of cremation, a practice deeply at odds with Liberian tradition, as a reason beds are empty in treatment centers. "We are in a crisis situation, which is going to get worse," said Palo Conteh, the newly appointed head of Sierra Leone's national Ebola Response Center. The top U.N. official on Ebola, Anthony Banbury said Wednesday that the tremendous international response was beginning to pay off.

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