The number of new Ebola diagnoses in Sierra Leone and Guinea reached its lowest point in well over a year last week, according to the World Health Organization, with only one reported case in each country. There were no new cases in Liberia, the third nation most severely affected by the outbreak.
“That progress is real,” Dr. Bruce Aylward, an assistant director general of the organization, said Tuesday at a news conference in Geneva.
Dr. Aylward said it was realistic to expect the epidemic to be quelled by the end of the year. “We can get there,” he said.
He cautioned that in the interim there would probably be additional flare-ups of the disease, which has killed more than 11,000 people since this outbreak emerged in Guinea in late 2013. Already two new Ebola diagnoses have been made since Sunday, and responders are tracking close to 2,000 people potentially exposed within the past 21 days, some of whom could still fall sick.