UN: WHO reports first week without new case of Ebola

New York, US (PANA) - The prospect of an end to Ebola could be drawing nearer, after UN
health officials announced that for the first time, a whole week has passed in West Africa
without any new cases of the deadly virus.

In an update issued in New York on Thursday, however, the World Health Organization (WHO) said while the development was potentially very promising, "there is still a considerable risk of transmission."

The statement, obtained by PANA here, quoted WHO as saying the development was significant because it is the first time since March last year that a whole week has passed without any new cases of Ebola in the West Africa region.

It recalled that Liberia was declared free of Ebola virus transmission in early September, and Sierra Leone has not had any confirmed infections for three weeks, while the last of the three worst affected countries, Guinea, has been Ebola-free for seven days.

Despite the good news, WHO warned that there was still what it calls a "near-term" danger of further virus transmission, noting that, "several high-risk contacts linked to infected Ebola carriers have been lost, and 500 people who have been close to infected patients still need monitoring."

Nonetheless, the UN health agency said the low number of cases in recent months, and the fact that infections have been confined to small areas of western Guinea and Sierra Leone, mean that it can now push to eradicate Ebola once and for all.

Since the beginning of the outbreak in 2013, Ebola has killed more than 11,300 people and infected over 28,400 in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
-0- PANA AA/SEG 8Oct2015

08 october 2015 14:35:17

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