UN: WHO says Ebola challenges remain despite drop in cases

New York, US (PANA) - Latest indications of a drop in new cases of Ebola in West Africa should not be taken as proof that the killer disease has been defeated, the World Health Organization
(WHO) warned on Thursday.

In a weekly update, obtained by PANA in New York, the WHO stated that, "although we have just one confirmed case of the virus in Guinea and another in Sierra Leone, the major
challenges still remain."

It said that the one confirmed case of Ebola virus in Guinea and another in Sierra Leone was good news, noting that, "it is the lowest weekly total since March 2014, and also marks a third consecutive weekly decline in confirmed cases in both countries."

But, the UN health agency warned that, "the killer haemorrhagic disease (Ebola) is not beaten yet and that there is still a significant risk of further transmission."

It said that the main difficulty was tracing every single person who has come into contact with an infected carrier, disclosing that WHO has around 2,000 people under observation in Guinea and Sierra Leone.

According to the WHO, the single case in Guinea is a contact who it stated was "lost to follow-up", saying: "This individual is also likely to have generated a substantial number of further high-risk contacts."

As for the vaccine trial in Guinea, WHO noted that its vaccination trial in the country had shown initial successes, and will be expanded after positive results, adding: "From now on, the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine will now be given to everyone who is been exposed to the Ebola virus, rather than on a random basis."

To date, Ebola has claimed the lives of 11,281 people, mainly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, where there have been no new cases since 23 July.
-0- PANA AA/VAO 6Aug2015

06 august 2015 15:42:54

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