Friday, October 10, 2014

3,865 Ebola Deaths and Counting


Ebola is not showing any signs of giving up. The latest WHO numbers on Ebola, published Wednesday, show 8,033 cases of suspected or confirmed Ebola in the West Africa outbreak, with 3,865 deaths.

Putting aside the scary statistics, authorities are painfully aware that the numbers in this crisis are notoriously squishy, however. Epidemiological data is sketchy at best. No one really knows exactly how big the epidemic is, in part because there are areas in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea where disease detectives cannot venture because of safety concerns. The current assumption is that for every four known Ebola cases, about six more go unreported. And this fact makes it scarier.

But what is even more worrisome is that the virus is still outpacing the efforts to contain it

Bruce Aylward, WHO’s assistant director general offered three numbers that he said are significant: 70, 70 and 60. To bring the epidemic under control, officials should ensure that at least 70 percent of Ebola-victim burials are conducted safely, and that at least 70 percent of infected people are in treatment, within 60 days, he said.

So far, containment efforts have started but these are still grossly inadequate. In the meantime, the casualties will continue to multiply.

Yesterday, I was in KL's Berjaya Times Square to attend the Berjaya UCH Toastmasters meeting. I was one of three Evaluators and it is good to know that I am just as good an evaluator as I am a good speaker. I was voted Best Evaluator (again). 

The one other comment I wish to make about the meeting is that we failed to religiously follow the timings – so much so that we ended the meeting forty-one minutes behind schedule. On this note, I would score this meeting a 2.5 over 10. Not a good start but hopefully, this can change.


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