UN: New Ebola cases fall to lowest level since mid-2014
- Last week, there were only 18 new cases of Ebola in West Africa—but the virus is still not eradicated, according to U.S. Envoy David Nabarro.
- There were no new cases of Ebola in Liberia last week. On May 9, it will be considered officially Ebola free, based on 42 days without any new cases of Ebola.
- Since the outbreak of Ebola infection in December 2013, more than 26,500 people have been infected and a total of 10,980 people have died.
Declaring West Africa Ebola-free requires more than determining that there are no new cases of Ebola in any given week. For an individual nation to be Ebola-free, there must be no news cases of Ebola for 42 days, according to the World Health Organization.
That figure is extrapolated from the 21-day maximum official incubation period. While officials maintain that they can't predict when the virus will be officially eradicated, they are encouraged by one key factor. The percentage of new cases that have occurred because someone had previously come in contact with en Ebola victim now exceeds 50% and is rapidly heading toward 75%. That means that the virus is being contained—and that's the key to stopping an epidemic.