The global fight against West Africa's Ebola pandemic is entering the cleanup phase, the World Health Organization suggested on Thursday. Last week, only 99 confirmed new Ebola cases were reported worldwide, the first time the number of new infections dipped below 100 since last June, the WHO said. That means, the U.N. agency explained in a statement, that "the response to the EVD (Ebola virus disease) epidemic has now moved to a second phase, as the focus shifts from slowing transmission to ending the epidemic."
The biggest reductions in reported infections and fatalities were in Sierra Leone and especially Liberia, where fewer than a person a day died of Ebola in the 21 days before Jan. 25. Guinea, the third epicenter of the pandemic, saw a slight uptick in cases last week. In all, 22,092 people have been infected with the Ebola virus and 8,810 have died in the pandemic, almost all of them in the three West African nations.