H/t to commentor geoffb for this one. We needed some comedy for the holiday weekend.
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — The Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, which has been surging in recent weeks, may have reached its peak and could be on the verge of slowing down, Sierra Leone's information minister said Wednesday.
But in a reminder of how serious the situation is in Sierra Leone, a ninth doctor became infected Wednesday and the World Health Organization said the country accounted for more than half of the new cases in the hardest-hit countries in the past week. By contrast, infections appear to be either stabilizing or declining in Guinea and Liberia. The case total includes 600 new cases in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in just the past week, according to the WHO.Dr. Songo Mbriwa, a top military doctor who was working at a treatment center in the capital, tested positive for Ebola on Wednesday, according to Abass Kamara, a Health Ministry spokesman.
Nearly 600 health workers have become infected in the West African outbreak, many in the hardest-hit countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone — all of which had too few of the workers to begin with.
Still, Alpha Kanu, Sierra Leone's minister of information, told journalists in an online press conference that with the imminent completion of two British-built treatment centers, the worst could be over for the country.
"We believe that now that those treatment centers are ready, the transmission of new cases will start reducing," he said. "I don't think we can get any higher than we are now — we are at the plateau of the curve and very soon we will have a downward trend, once we have somewhere to take people."
Sierra Leone has nearly 6,600 of the reported Ebola cases, with about 1,400 deaths, and the infections are increasing swiftly here.
In its release of the latest figures on Wednesday, the World Health Organization said both Sierra Leone and Liberia appeared to be far behind the U.N.-set goal of isolating 70 percent of patients by Dec. 1, with only about 20 percent isolated in each country. Guinea, by contrast, appears to have already passed that target. The agency warned that data is poor and slow to come in, so firm conclusions are difficult.Kanu, the information minister, agreed that finding beds for patients had been a challenge in the country and predicted that the new centers would expand the country's Ebola treatment capacity to 1,000 beds and would help get the infected out of the community.
He also said that Sierra Leone would repeat its September shutdown when people across the country had to remain at home while medical teams went door to door.
Meanwhile, back in the Land Of Reality, Sierra Leone has chalked up 100 or so fresh Ebola cases per day for each of the 18 days of November for which figures are available, and less than 20% of those are isolated at Ebola Treatment Centers.
So you can believe this version of happygas from the currently most truth-challenged governments on the planet, or believe your lying eyes.
Guinea and Liberia report 21 and 33 cases/day respectively during the same time span, but Liberia's numbers always seem to take a couple extra days to come out, suggesting that someone "massages" the data each week to fit the narrative, rather than releasing the known numbers, and their death toll is actually marching backward over time.
So all you have to do is wrap your head around the idea that suddenly, in those two countries, Ebola has become essentially non-lethal.
Or that the "official" numbers are such utter bullshit, that they are the product of monkeys flinging darts at a target.
Notably, none of these reports are being generated by anyone actually on the ground in Guinea or Sierra Leone, and no one is outside the capitols of any of those countries, while WHO, Medecins Sans Frontieres, and US CDC and DoD spokesholes are completely silent on what's being observed.
So if you want to sell the family cow for some Magic Beans, go right on ahead. But it won't be a giant that falls on you afterwards, nor golden eggs that goose leaves on your floor.