UN: WHO reports highest weekly new Ebola cases in Guinea

New York, US (PANA) - The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported the highest weekly
number of Ebola cases in Guinea so far this year and noted that while transmission was confined to a narrow geographically contiguous arc straddling the capitals of Guinea and Sierra Leone, the population is highly mobile, thereby creating a challenge to "prevent the seeding of new outbreaks."

In the latest WHO update on Ebola, obtained by PANA in New York on Friday, Liberia reported
no new confirmed cases for the third consecutive week and Sierra Leone had the lowest weekly total recorded since June 2014.

According to WHO, to date, there have been more than 25,000 cases of Ebola reported in the
hardest-hit West African countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone with over 10,000 reported deaths.

However, the latest update stated that a total of 150 new confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease were reported in the week to 15 March, compared with 116 the previous week.

Of these new cases, 95 were in Guinea, the highest weekly total for the country in 2015, it noted.

WHO reported that "key response indicators for Guinea suggest that there remain significant
challenges to overcome before transmission is brought under control."

It said Sierra Leone reported 55 new confirmed cases over the same period: the country’s lowest weekly total since late June 2014, and Liberia reported no new confirmed cases for the third consecutive week.

It also said the 15th of March was day 12 since the last patient in Liberia had a second negative test for Ebola, noting that 42 days must elapse before transmission can be considered to have ended.

WHO said 12 districts in Guinea and Sierra Leone reported a confirmed case in the week to 15
March, all of which lie on a geographically contiguous arc in and around Conakry, Guinea, to
the north and Freetown, Sierra Leone, to the south.

It said: "Though transmission is currently confined to a relatively narrow geographic corridor,
the population is highly mobile, with a great deal of movement throughout surrounding districts and countries", stating that, "limiting the movements of cases and contacts is challenging but essential to prevent the seeding of new outbreaks."

It said by contrast with Guinea, key response indicators for Sierra Leone present a more
promising outlook.

Meanwhile, the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) reported on Friday that the UN World Food Programme (WFP) is supporting the construction of the Nongo Ebola Treatment Unit in Guinea.

UNMEER also said the UN Development Programme (UNDP) is increasing its support to medical waste management at Sierra Leone's hospitals and treatment units, noting that
sterilization machines will improve the quality of infection control practices in Sierra Leone's
-0- PANA AA/VAO 20March2015

20 march 2015 15:36:57

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