UN: WHO reports lowest Ebola cases in 2015

New York, US (PANA) - The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday said Liberia's first case of Ebola in three weeks has prompting heightened vigilance.

WHO also noted that there had been some improvements in Guinea.

WHO in a statement obtained by PANA in New York, stated: "Investigations into the origin of the newly reported case in Liberia are ongoing, and heightened vigilance is being maintained throughout the country along with efforts to reinforce surveillance networks and cross-border controls."

It said the one new confirmed case was reported from the greater Monrovia area of Montserrado county, where the patient went to a hospital on 19 March, and was laboratory confirmed as Ebola positive the next day

The agency went on to say that the patient was not a contact associated with the country’s last confirmed case, who tested negative for a second time on 3 March.

In its latest report, WHO also said 79 new confirmed cases of Ebola were reported in the week to 22 March: the lowest weekly total in 2015 from the epidemic in West Africa that has affected nearly 25,000 people with more than 10,000 deaths.

It said: "With the exception of the case in Liberia, transmission has been restricted to districts in and around Conakry (Guinea) to the north and Freetown (Sierra Leone) to the south."

It also said that, "response indicators for Guinea suggest some improvements compared with recent weeks, and case incidence declined compared with the previous week in every prefecture to have reported a case in the past 21 days".

However, WHO cautioned that, "the fact that fewer than half of cases arose from known contacts, and the number of reported unsafe burials has increased suggests that the outbreak in Guinea continues to be driven by unknown chains of transmission".

Meanwhile, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Guinean Scouts held campfire sensitization sessions as part of its efforts to overcome community resistance to health interventions.

UNICEF said it conducted several social mobilization and community engagement activities in its fight against Ebola in Guinea, where religious leaders at the Grand Mosque of Kourouss delivered Ebola sensitization messages following the reading of the Quran with 14 imams reaching more than 500 people.

It said that, in partnership with the Guinean Scouts, UNICEF was working to overcome community resistance to Ebola-related humanitarian interventions in numerous locations.
-0- PANA AA/MA 25March2015

25 march 2015 20:22:14

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