Stopping the spread of Ebola in West Africa is within reach, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says that new cases have been declining over the past four weeks in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
But the WHO says it will run out of cash mid-February, five months before they could get new infection rates down to zero, now they’re calling for funding before the rainy season hits.
Speaking from Geneva, Dr Bruce Aylward, WHO assistant director in charge of Ebola response said:
“The situation we are in today, it’s as if three or four months ago, you know, we had two cobras in our bed, and, you leave the lights on and nobody gets to bed, nobody goes to sleep as long as there are cobras there. But now that one of those cobras is dead or gone, well it’s like, we are turning the lights off, and we are going back to bed. I am trying to get across the message that you’re still in a very, very dangerous situation with this virus.”
So far at least 8,641 people have died and 21,724 cases have been diagnosed, the majority of them in the three hardest hit countries.
The first batch of an experimental vaccine was dispatched to Liberia on Friday, however experts say that with the fall in number of new cases it may be difficult to test whether the jab actually protects against the virus.