WHO Updated Report on Ebola As thousands of deaths being reported

By Amie Sanneh

As at 23 September, 2014, 3083 deaths have been reported in the current Ebolaoutbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) by the Ministries of Health of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, a report from the World Health Organisation (WHO) said. The report further states that 6553 probable confirmed and suspected cases of Ebola were also reported.

The report expresses concern over the exposure of health-care workers (HCWs) to EVD describing it as an alarming feature of this outbreak. “As of 23 September 2014, 375 HCWs are known to have developed EVD (67 in Guinea, 184 in Liberia, 11 in Nigeria, and 113 in Sierra Leone). 211 HCWs have died as a result of EVD infection (35 in Guinea, 89 in Liberia, five in Nigeria, and 82 in Sierra Leone),” it stated.

On countries with an initial case or cases with localized transmission, the report noted that two countries, Nigeria and Senegal, have now reported a case or cases imported from a country with widespread and intense transmission. It added that In Nigeria, there have been 20 cases and eight deaths while In Senegal, there has been one case, but as yet there have been no deaths or further suspected cases attributable to Ebola.

According to the report, contact tracing and follow-up is ongoing. In Nigeria, it is reported that 847 contacts out of 872 total contacts have now completed 21 day follow-up (349 contacts in Lagos, 498 contacts in Port Harcourt). The report explained that the last confirmed case in Lagos was reported on 5 September while the last confirmed case in Port Harcourt was reported on 1 September. It further stated that all contacts in Lagos have now completed 21 day follow-up but of the 25 contacts (out of 523 total contacts) who are still being monitored in Port Harcourt, 24 (96%) were seen on 23 September.

In Senegal, all contacts have now completed 21 day follow-up, with no further cases of EVD reported and the last confirmed case in Senegal was reported on 28 August, says the report.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the report reveals that as at 24 September 2014, there have been 70 cases (30 confirmed, 26 probable, 14 suspected) of Ebola, including eight health-care workers. In total, 42 deaths have been reported, including eight HCWs it stated.

The report noted that 628 contacts (out of 939) have now completed 21 day follow-up and out  of the 311 contacts currently being monitored, 290 (93%) were seen on 24 September, the last date for which data has been reported. This outbreak is unrelated to that affecting Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone, noted the report.