IMPORTANT UPDATE: Since publishing the post below, it has become clear based on reports from the CDC and the WHO that much of the apparent decrease in cases in Liberia is due to the reporting system being totally overwhelmed. In most areas, especially the capital, Monrovia, there is no decrease. In one district, the Lofa district, however, it appears the decrease may be for real. Keep pressing on in prayer... it is SO needed!
The numbers are grim: Nearly 7500 total reported cases, and 3431 deaths
However, there may be some good news. It is way too early to be sure, as there are always fluctuations and there may be reporting issues or patients staying away from treatment centers. But the rate of new cases in Liberia appears to have dramatically decreased.
Let’s look at some numbers:
The 12 September report showed 2081 total cases in Liberia
The 18 September report showed 2710 total cases in Liberia, an increase of 629 cases, or 105 cases per day (in a 6 day period)
The 26 September report showed 3458 total cases in Liberia, an increase of 748 cases, or 94 cases per day (in an 8 day period)
The 3 October report showed 3834 total cases in Liberia, an increase of 376 cases, or 54 cases per day (in a 7 day period)
That’s a pretty dramatic decrease in new cases! LA Times reporter Robyn Dixon is providing amazing reporting from the Ebola frontlines in Liberia. (I very much encourage people to read her stories. They are helping me to feel connected and to pray.) Her October 1 article “A Whisper of Hope…” also provides some anecdotal evidence to believe that there may be some slowing of the rate of new cases in Libera, although overall the situation remains desperate.
Praise God for this decrease and pray the rate of new cases continues to decline sharply in Liberia, and begins to fall in Sierra Leone, where the number of new cases has been continuing to rise over the past weeks. (The rate of new cases in Guinea are remaining fairly stable at an average of about 18 new cases per day).
Most merciful Father, we continue to cry out to You for the people of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Have mercy upon them and bring an end to this plague of Ebola. Thank you for the slowing rate of new cases in Liberia. May those numbers continue to drop and may we be surprised by how quickly the outbreak ends. What seems impossible to us is possible for You. Help us to trust You and continue to give all who are fighting this disease much wisdom, strength and grace. Amen.