Despite being the West African country hit hardest by the Ebola outbreak, Liberia is starting to see a decline in the number of new Ebola cases.
Compared to other West African countries like Guinea and Sierra Leone that have been affected by the Ebola outbreak, which first started 11 months ago, Liberia has had the largest number of deaths.
But last week, Liberia's health ministry announced that two-thirds of the 696 beds in the country's treatment centers were empty, the BBC reported. Today, Médecins sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), confirmed the case decline in Liberia but insisted that the disease could spread again, noting that the number of cases are rising in Guinea despite two slower periods.
For the period ending on Nov. 2, there have been 13,042 reported cases of Ebola, with 4,818 reported deaths in Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Spain and the United States, according to WHO data released on Wednesday.
Liberia has had 6,525 cumulative cases (confirmed, probable and suspected), 398 cases in the past 21 days and 2,697 cumulative deaths. Guinea has had 1,731 cumulative cases, 256 cases in the past 21 days and 1,041 cumulative deaths, while Sierra Leone has had 4,579 cumulative cases, 1,174 cases in the past 21 days and 1,070 cumulative deaths.
At the end of October, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that the number of new infections in Liberia seemed to be declining. Liberian health authorities also reported lower numbers of new infections, unoccupied beds in treatment centers in Monrovia, Liberia's capital, and a decrease in the number of burials of Ebola victims, the New York Times reported.
But some health officials and aid workers are warning against declaring victories given that the outbreak experiences ebbs and flows. For example, in southeastern Guinea, health officials said that the disease was practically contained but by April, that number swelled, Reuters reported. And the WHO has previously stated that their data does not take into account the large number of cases that are under-reported.