UN: WHO says number of new Ebola cases in Guinea, Sierra Leone increases

New York, US (PANA) - The number of new Ebola cases in West Africa has increased for the second straight week, highlighting the challenges still faced in finding and eliminating every chain of transmission, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

In the latest Ebola update on Thursday in New York, WHO reported that, in recent weeks, the decline in case incidence and the contraction of the geographic area affected by Ebola virus disease (EVD) transmission that was apparent throughout April and early May had stalled.

The update, obtained by PANA in New York, confirmed 31 new Ebola cases were reported in the week ending 7 June, with 16 cases in Guinea and 15 in Sierra Leone, which WHO said made it the second consecutive weekly increase in case incidence, and the highest weekly total number of cases reported from Sierra Leone since late March.

In addition, Ebola cases were reported from a widening geographical area in Guinea and Sierra Leone, and the continued occurrence of cases that arise from unknown sources of infection highlights the challenges still faced in finding and eliminating every chain of transmission.

WHO, however, noted the importance of improved communication with local communities, stating that, it was essential to understand and address any concerns that prevented cases and deaths from being reported, and chains of transmission from being detected.

To date, the Ebola outbreak has affected more than 25,000 people, mostly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with more than 11,000 deaths.

The UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) also reported on Thursday that, five new Ebola cases were confirmed in Sierra Leone on 8 June, the highest number in a single day for many weeks.

The UN mission in its latest progress report in the response to the Ebola outbreak at the 210-day mark since the establishment of UNMEER, warned that, "the outbreak is not over and the response efforts must be sustained until we get to zero cases throughout the region and are able to stay at zero for several months".

The mission also called on the international community to continue to support the Ebola recovery mechanism, in order to achieve zero Ebola cases in West Africa.

In a recent report, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wrote: "The International Ebola Recovery Conference that I will convene on 10 July 2015 will be an opportunity for the international community to demonstrate its continued shared commitment to the affected countries to get to zero and to stay there."
-0- PANA AA/MA 11June2015

11 june 2015 20:04:53

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