Sierra Leone and Liberia both appear to be on steady paths to ending the epidemic. The wild card is Guinea, where Ebola hasn’t burned as hot but remains stubbornly entrenched.
Liberia’s last Ebola patient died March 27; it is now counting down the 42 days it must wait to be declared free of Ebola. Meanwhile, Sierra Leone recorded no new infections Wednesday for the second time; on average, it has logged a handful each day in recent days.
A nationwide lockdown indicated there aren’t hordes of hidden cases lurking there. “The battle to get to zero cases is truly on,” Ernest Bai Koroma, Sierra Leone’s president, said in a radio address on Thursday. It’s more difficult to discern a trend in Guinea. The World Health Organization has called the picture mixed after noting signs of improvement last week.
Doctors Without Borders added 10 new beds to its treatment center in the capital, Conakry, last week to handle more patients. About half of the Donka center’s 50 beds were full as of Tuesday night, according to Raphael Delhalle, the group’s field coordinator there.
The outbreak in Guinea has followed this undulating pattern for months and is likely to continue, Delhalle said.