|EVD case numbers between WHO reports.|
Let's see if we can add some context.
According to a number of past WHO reports, a lot of effort has been going in to trying to collect data more effectively including improving the linkage of lab results to cases, cases to deaths, lab data to deaths and probably a million other things.
|Dr Bruce Aylward|
The thing to be aware of is that these are not cases that have all been detected or all occurred since the last report 5 days previously. According to Dr Bruce Aylward, WHO Assistant Director-General, Polio and Emergencies, during a preceding media conference (and my thanks Martin Enserink for asking the important question; underlining is mine)..
In terms of the jump in the number of cases, one of things that we've talked about in the past on this is that with the huge surge in cases in certain countries, particularly in September and October, people got behind on their data.
They ended up with huge piles of paper in terms of cases, etc, and we knew and I actually said to you the last time, we are going to see jumps in cases at certain times that are going to be associated more with new data coming in but it's actually on old cases.
And a couple of days there were about 2,000 additional cases in, if I remember correctly, it was actually the Liberia case report but most of these were old cases because remember they got swamped a couple of months ago with a lot of new cases and just got behind on their data, so a lot of that is about reconciling new data.
If we look at sort of a seven day rolling average number of cases which have been around 1,000, just under that, about 900, there hasn't been a big change in that in the recent weeks.So the 3,562 cases come largely from the past as well as the present. It's not that the sky has fallen in the past 5 days. Which is good news. But of course, that puts us back to "just" 1,000 or so Ebola virus disease cases a week. In other words, in just 1 week there are more cases than in any individual outbreak since 1976.
|The cumulative EVD case curve at 29-Oct|
This seems to be a real trend in that there are fewer burials and more empty treatment beds and fewer cases found when sought in the community. Why there are fewer is not precisely known and it is far to early to rely on this yet. But we do know that there are better numbers of safe burials, better education, more experience with the disease, more help and facilities and more PPE comapred to when this started.
The three countries with intense transmission still require a lot of help from us though - that urgency must not let up. Remember that cases had dropped a lot back in May - and now look where we are.
If you can't get there in person to offer specialist help, and most of us cannot, keep bringing the issue to the attention of your country's leaders, learn about the virus and the disease from trusted sources and help teach others and head off ignorant comments, and donate some (some more) money to those groups who can make a real difference on your behalf (I've listed some great options here).
Fighting the fire at its source is still the best way to help save lives in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia and to stop new outbreaks from occurring in other countries.
- WHO Ebola Roadmap SitRep#10
- Virtual Press Conference transcript