Ebola virus disease, West Africa – update 31 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 28 and 30 July 2014, a total of 117 new cases (suspect, probable, and laboratory-confirmed cases) as well as 97 deaths were reported from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria.

The surge in the number of new EVD cases especially in Liberia and Sierra Leone calls for concentrated efforts by all to address the identified problems such as health facility transmission and effective contact tracing. More human resources experts need are requested in these two countries to really tackle the progress of this outbreak. The situation in Guinea seems to be stable these two last days.

In Nigeria, two suspected cases among the contacts followed up at the airport were tested negative for the first PCR test. Another test will be done 48 hour after to confirm the status. The contact tracing is continuing as well as communication activities.

In Togo, some passengers from the flight to Lagos disembarked in Lome, and our epidemiologist on the field are working with the services at the airport to find out their address for contact tracing. The Togo and Nigeria EVD operational plans have been finalized and sent.  

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

The Director General of WHO arrived yesterday 30th April evening in Conakry, Guinea, to attend the Presidential Mano River Union meeting convene by the President of Guinea, to discuss on Ebola Issue. The same day, an inter-ministerial was held to prepare this big meeting, where attended the three Ministers of Health of the three countries, and their health technicians, WHO and other partners involved in the Ebola outbreak control activities.

This meeting aim to bring more commitment of the three Head of State, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and the Minister of Ivory Coast, who come to represent his president, in the way to work together to stop the spreading of Ebola. A final join communique has to been signed today by the four countries at the end of this meeting.

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 and deploying more experts in field to bring an adequate response to this outbreak.

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 28 and 30 July 2014, 117 new cases (laboratory-confirmed, probable, and suspect cases) of EVD, and 97 deaths, were reported from the four countries as follows: Guinea, 12 new cases and 7 deaths; Liberia, 62 new cases and 71 deaths; Sierra Leone, 41 new cases and 19 deaths; and Nigeria, 2 new cases suspected cases which the first test were negative. 

As of 30 July 2014, the cumulative number of cases attributed to EVD in the four countries stands at 1 440 including 826 deaths. The distribution and classification of the cases are as follows: Guinea, 472 cases (337 confirmed, 122 probable, and 12 suspected) including 346 deaths; Liberia, 391 cases (109 confirmed, 181 probable, and 101 suspected) including 227 deaths; Sierra Leone, 574 cases (507 confirmed, 41 probable, and 26 suspected) including 252 deaths; and Nigeria, 3 cases (1probable and 2 suspected) and 1 death.

Confirmed, probable, and suspect cases and deaths from Ebola virus disease in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria as of 30 July 2014