Note: the graph below is my own work, based on the data in the WHO Ebola situation reports. It shows cumulative reported cases of Ebola in each West African country, and in total, since the outbreak began in March 2014.
I’ve been looking tonight at the latest WHO report on Ebola in West Africa (October 10, 2014), and I took the time to update my spreadsheet where I’ve been tracking the cumulative number of cases each week. The data is just scary.
- In Liberia: 2000 new cases in the past 4 weeks
- In Sierra Leone: 2000 new cases in 6 weeks, (but they’re now on pace for 2000 cases in the next 27 days if current case rates continue.)
- It took 4 1/2 months (from beginning of March to mid-July) to reach 1000 total cases.
- It then took only a month for the number of cases to double to 2000. (mid August)
- Another month, another doubling. 4000 cases by mid-September.
- And now, as we near mid-October, the cases have doubled again: now over 8000 *REPORTED* cases in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Please note that word *REPORTED* because reporting systems in some areas are unable to keep up with the number of cases. Liberia in fact has reported a sharp decline in number of new cases in the past 2 – 3 weeks. But according to the officials from the CDC, with the exception of one district (Lofa) where that decline may be real, the decreased numbers probably only are due to inability to trace and document all the cases. So, in actuality, the number of total cases is much higher than the reported numbers. And the reported numbers are utterly DIRE as the graph below shows.
At this point, three prayer requests seem critical:
1) A vaccine. Without one, I can’t imagine this disease can be contained now.
2) Effective medicines and treatments that will dramatically decrease the mortality rate of Ebola.
3) PROTECTION, GRACE, WISDOM and STRENGTH for all who are fighting Ebola:
- Those who are sick, fighting for their lives.
- Those in the affected communities, fighting for their families, their livlihoods, their future,
- the healthcare workers, fighting to save patients,
- the government, NGO, and military leaders fighting to get resources where needed
- the scientists and researchers fighting to find a vaccine and a cure
- AND the intercessors, fighting this battle on their knees in prayer, crying out to God for mercy
Lord, we look to You. You are our only hope. You alone can rescue. Come in our hour of need and save us from this peril. In Jesus mighty name. Amen.
I urge you all to not only PRAY, but to GIVE and ACT as well. The New York Times published a good list of charities on the frontlines of the battle against Ebola. From personal experience, I have a lot of confidence in the work of Doctors Without Borders (aka MSF) [note, not an explicitly Christian NGO], and Samaritans Purse.