Guinea + 3 more

Ebola virus disease, West Africa – update 29 July 2014

Epidemiology and surveillance

The World Health Organization (WHO) continues to monitor the evolution of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria. The Ebola epidemic trend in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea remains precarious, with continuing community and health-facility transmissions of infection.

Between 24 and 27 July 2014, a total of 122 new cases (suspect, probable, and laboratory-confirmed cases) as well as 57 deaths were reported from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria.

The surge in the number of new EVD cases especially in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea calls for concentrated efforts by all to address the identified problems such as health facility transmission and effective contact tracing.

In Nigeria, IHR focal person report confirms that the probable case notified was symptomatic at the time of arrival in Nigeria and that 59 contacts (15 from among the airport staff and 44 from the hospital) have been identified so far. The report also confirms that the patient travelled by air and arrived in Lagos, Nigeria, on 20th July via Lomé, Togo and Accra, Ghana.

The sample from this case is yet to be sent to the WHO Collaborating Centre at the Institute Pasteur in Dakar, Senegal, due to refusal by courier companies to transport this sample. Though only one probable case has been detected so far in Nigeria, Ebola virus infection in this country represents a significant development in the course of this outbreak.

The national authority in Nigeria, Togo and Ghana continue to work closely with WHO and partners in identification of contact and contact tracing as well as in preparing response plans.

Health sector response

In an effort to accelerate the response to the current EVD outbreak in West Africa, the Director General of WHO and other senior managers continue to hold discussions with the donor community, development partners as well as international agencies at a global level. Focus of discussion has centered among others on the need to rapidly deploy additional resources (human and financial) that will help interrupt Ebola transmission.

Efforts are currently ongoing to scale up and strengthen all aspects of the response in the four countries, including epidemiologic investigations, contact tracing, public information and community mobilization, case management and infection prevention and control, coordination and staff security. WHO is also working closely with various partners to finalize the national response plans that define urgent response needs in line with the Accra’s strategy adopted by Member States.

WHO and Partners (CDC, MSF, UNICEF, IFRC, Institute Pasteur of Dakar, Save the Children, Plan Guinea and others) continue to work together through the Sub-regional Ebola Outbreak Coordination Center (SEOCC) in Conakry in accelerating the control of this outbreak.

WHO does not recommend any travel or trade restrictions is applied to Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone or Nigeria, based on the current information available for this event.

Disease update

New cases and deaths attributable to EVD continue to be reported by the Ministries of Health in the four West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. Between 24 and 27 July 2014, 122 new cases (laboratory-confirmed, probable, and suspect cases) of EVD, and 57 deaths, were reported from the four countries as follows: Guinea, 33 new cases and 20 deaths; Liberia, 80 new cases and 27 deaths; Sierra Leone, 8 new cases and 9 deaths; and Nigeria, 1 new case who died.

As of 27 July 2014, the cumulative number of cases attributed to EVD in the four countries stands at 1323 including 729 deaths. The distribution and classification of the cases are as follows: Guinea, 460 cases (336 confirmed, 109 probable, and 15 suspected) including 339 deaths; Liberia, 329 cases (100 confirmed, 128 probable, and 101 suspected) including 156 deaths; Sierra Leone, 533 cases (473 confirmed, 38 probable, and 22 suspected) including 233 deaths; and Nigeria, 1 probable case who died.