UN: Ebola cases evade detection due to lack of trust in communities – WHO

New York, US (PANA) - The origin of the new cluster of Ebola cases is not yet well understood,
the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday about the outbreak in West Africa,
where a residual lack of trust in the response means that some cases still evade detection
for too long, increasing the risk of further transmission.

WHO in a statement said there were 30 confirmed Ebola cases reported in the week ending
5 July: 18 in Guinea, 3 in Liberia, and 9 in Sierra Leone, noting that, "significant challenges
remain in the fight to eradicate the disease, which has affected some 27,600 people,
including more than 11,000 deaths."

It said that the 6th meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee
regarding the Ebola outbreak in West Africa advised that the outbreak continued to
constitute a public health emergency of international concern, and that exit screening
should be continued in the three most-affected countries.

It said the Committee had also advised those countries to strengthen cross-border
collaboration and communication, particularly between Guinea and Guinea Bissau.

Also, WHO said improvements to case investigation and contact tracing, together with
enhanced incentives to encourage reporting and compliance with quarantine measures
have led to a better understanding of chains of transmission.

The UN health agency stated: "This, in turn, has resulted in a decreasing proportion
of cases arising from as-yet unknown sources of infection, particularly in previously
problematic areas such as Boke and Forecariah in Guinea, and Kambia and Port Loko
in Sierra Leone.

"A residual lack of trust in the response among some affected communities means that
some cases still evade detection for too long, increasing the risk of further hidden

"The exportation of cases to densely populated urban areas such as Freetown and
Conakry remains a risk, while the origin of the new cluster of cases in Liberia is not
yet well understood."

Meanwhile, the chief of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER),
Peter Graaff, on Thursday travelled to Port Loko in Sierra Leone to get an update.
-0-   PANA  AA/AR  9July2015

09 july 2015 19:39:28

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