The present letter on the work of the United Nations in response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa covers developments from 1 February to 1 March 2015, the 150-day mark since the establishment of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER). It records activities carried out by my Special Envoy on Ebola and UNMEER, and provides an update on progress made in the Ebola response pursuant to General Assembly resolution 69/1 since my update of 10 February 2015 (A/69/759).
Current situation of the Ebola outbreak
As at 1 March 2015, a total of 23,969 confirmed, probable and suspected cases of Ebola have been reported in four affected countries (Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) and five previously affected countries (Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Spain and the United States of America). A total of 9,807 confirmed, probable and suspected deaths have been reported.
After a sharp decline in cases, to a low of 99 confirmed cases reported in the week prior to 25 January, February has seen a plateauing of the number of cases at between 100 and 150 cases per week. The plateauing reminds us that the end to the epidemic will not be linear and will require an intensification of effort. The outbreak has also become more localized, with 94 per cent of all confirmed cases in the week prior to 1 March located in an arc covering the coastal area of western Guinea and the coastal and western areas of Sierra Leone. That reinforces the importance of targeted approaches to high transmission hotspots and continued vigilance in areas with low transmission, especially in the face of the challenges that could arise in the impending rainy season.