Ebola cases top 17,000; activity still intense in Sierra Leone

Thursday, December 4, 2014
By Paul Martin

Lisa Schnirring
CIDRAP News
Dec 03, 2014

Ebola activity has continued to increase in Sierra Leone in the past week, especially around the capital, while case numbers rose slightly in Guinea and a decrease in Liberia leveled off, the World Health Organization (WHO) said today.

The group said in its latest detailed outbreak update that although overall the three countries have enough capacity to treat all new cases, the uneven distribution of treatment beds is hampering the response goal of isolating and treating all Ebola patients, one of the keys to stopping the outbreak.

Earlier this week in an update regarding the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response’s (UNMEER’s) 90-day plan to tackle the outbreak, health officials said all three of the hardest-hit countries had met the Dec 1 goal of safely burying 70% of patients who die from Ebola. They added that Guinea and Liberia and some areas of Sierra Leone had met the Dec 1 goal of isolating and treating 70% of infected people. The next goal is to reach 100% for both measures by Jan 1.

The global Ebola total has now reached 17,145 cases, including 6,070 deaths through Nov 30, the WHO said. That represents 1,210 new cases and 381 deaths since the agency’s last report on Nov 26. During that period, Sierra Leone reported 537 new confirmed cases and Guinea reported 77, while Liberia reported 43 new cases in the 5 days to Nov 28.

For the past several months, Liberia has had the most cases and deaths, but intense activity in Sierra Leone has put that nation within striking distance of being the hardest-hit country. Liberia has 7,635 cases, and Sierra Leone’s total has grown to 7,312.

Liberia still has far more deaths than the other countries—3,145, compared with 1,583 in Sierra Leone and 1,327 in Guinea.

Patterns still evolving

The Rest…HERE

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