Ebola Cases Down, But Challenges Remain, Vigilance Must Be Maintained, U.N. Says

Agence France-Presse: SLeone hunts infected as Ebola crisis hits ‘turning point’
“Sierra Leone launched a door-to-door search Wednesday for ‘hidden’ Ebola patients as the head of the United Nations announced the world was at ‘a critical turning point’ in the crisis…” (Johnson, 2/18).

New York Times: Ebola Risks Linger, Officials Warn
“Top United Nations officials on Wednesday warned against complacency over the waning Ebola epidemic in three West African countries and emphasized the difficulty of eradicating the disease that has left nearly 9,400 people dead…” (Gladstone, 2/18).

Reuters: Ebola cases fall in West Africa, but challenges remain — WHO
“West Africa recorded 128 new confirmed cases of Ebola in the week to Feb. 15, the first decrease in three weeks, but resistance in some communities threatened efforts to end the epidemic, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday…” (Bavier, 2/18).

U.N. News Centre: Ebola: U.N. envoy likens final phase of response to ‘looking for needles in haystacks’
“…[The Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Ebola, Dr. David] Nabarro told reports that having strong surveillance capabilities on the ground to identify people with Ebola, to confirm diagnosis, to quickly arrangement arrange effective treatment, to identify people that are their contacts and to keep those people under review for 21 days ‘is a really difficult task,’ especially as these tasks must be coordinated through 63 different government structures in an area the size of France…” (2/18).