Outbreak and Current Disease Status Information

Ebola virus disease, West Africa – update

WHO Disease Outbreaks news - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 06:00
Between 24 and 27 July 2014, a total of 122 new cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD; laboratory-confirmed, probable, and suspect cases) as well as 57 deaths were reported from Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. The Ebola epidemic trend in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone remains precarious with ongoing community and health-facility transmissions of infection. The surge in the number of new EVD cases calls for concentrated efforts by all to address the identified problems, such as health facility transmission and effective contact tracing.

On 29 July 2014, the National IHR Focal Point for Nigeria confirmed that the probable EVD case notified to WHO on 27 July 2014 was symptomatic at the time of arrival in Nigeria and that 59 contacts (15 from among the airport staff and 44 from the hospital) have been identified so far. The report also confirms that the patient travelled by air and arrived in Lagos, Nigeria, on 20 July via Lomé, Togo, and Accra, Ghana. The sample from this case is yet to be sent to the WHO Collaborating Centre at the Institute Pasteur in Dakar, Senegal, due to refusal by courier companies to transport this sample. Though only one probable case has been detected so far in Nigeria, Ebola virus infection in this country represents a significant development in the course of this outbreak.

Ebola virus disease, West Africa – update

WHO Disease Outbreaks news - Sun, 07/27/2014 - 06:00
WHO continues to monitor the evolution of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. The Ebola epidemic trend remains precarious, with community and health-facility transmissions of infection still taking place. Between 21 and 23 July 2014, 96 new cases and 7 deaths were reported from Liberia and Sierra Leone. In Guinea, 12 new cases and 5 deaths were reported during the same period. These include suspect, probable, and laboratory-confirmed cases. The surge in the number of new EVD cases in Guinea after weeks of low viral activity demonstrates that undetected chains of transmission existed in the community. This phenomenon is retrogressive to the control of the EVD outbreak; and calls for stepping up outbreak containment measures, especially effective contact tracing.

In addition, the Ministry of Health of Nigeria has reported the first probable case of EVD. According to the Nigeria authorities, the case is a 40-year-old Liberian male national who recently travelled to Nigeria where he presented in hospital with symptoms of EVD. The patient travelled by air and arrived in Lagos, Nigeria, on 20th July via Lomé, Togo. He was symptomatic while traveling, was admitted to a private hospital immediately on arrival, and died on 25 July. On 22 July, a sample was taken and preliminary laboratory analysis was conducted in the virology laboratory of Lagos University Teaching Hospital and tested positive for Ebola virus. The sample from this case is being referred to the WHO Collaborating Centre at the Institut Pasteur in Dakar, Senegal, for confirmation. The national authority in Nigeria is working closely with WHO and partners to ensure that this incident case is contained at the source.

Ebola virus disease, West Africa – update

WHO Disease Outbreaks news - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 06:00
WHO continues to monitor the evolution of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. Between 18 – 20 July 2014, 45 new cases and 28 deaths were reported from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. These include suspect, probable, and laboratory-confirmed cases. The respective Ministries of Health continue to work with WHO and its partners to implement outbreak containment measures.

The Regional Director, WHO African Region, began official visits to the three West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone on 21 July 2014. On the first leg of his mission, the Regional Director visited Liberia from 21 - 22 July 2014. The goal of the visit is to make a first-hand assessment of the EVD outbreak, review the current outbreak response and challenges, and explore the best ways to rapidly contain the EVD outbreak in West Africa. The Regional Director held official meetings with the President of Liberia and the Minister of Health, including senior government officials. The President and the Regional Director also participated in the Ebola national coordination meeting at the Ministry of Health. During this meeting, the Regional Director emphasized the need to step up implementation of key outbreak containment strategies, including community engagement and involvement, effective contact tracing, cross-border collaboration and effective coordination. Discussions were also held with international and local non-governmental organizations, UN agencies, and other stakeholders to enhance collaboration and effective coordination. The Regional Director called upon all partners to be fully involved in the EVD outbreak response. Following his visit to Liberia, significant financial contributions and commitments were made, including from the Government and partners.

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – update

WHO Disease Outbreaks news - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 08:15
On 12 July 2014, the National IHR Focal Point of the Islamic Republic of Iran reported to WHO an additional laboratory-confirmed case of infection with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

The patient is a 67-year-old woman from Kerman Province. The patient had Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and was admitted to a hospital on 6 June 2014 due to a COPD exacerbation. The patient was discharged on 14 June 2014 and continued treatment at home. She was in a stable condition until she developed severe acute respiratory symptoms and was readmitted to a hospital on 25 June 2014. The patient was laboratory-confirmed with MERS-CoV on 5 July 2014 and died on the same day. The patient had no history of travel and no known history of contact with animals or consumption of raw camel milk products in the 14 days prior to becoming ill. The patient did not have known contact with a previously reported MERS-CoV case. However, during her first hospitalisation, the patient had close contact with another patient with severe acute respiratory infection.

Ebola virus disease, West Africa – update

WHO Disease Outbreaks news - Sat, 07/19/2014 - 06:00
WHO continues to monitor the evolution of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. The current epidemic trend of EVD outbreak in Sierra Leone and Liberia remains serious, with 67 new cases and 19 deaths reported from 15 – 17 July 2014. These include suspect, probable, and laboratory-confirmed cases. The EVD outbreak in Guinea continues to show a declining trend, with no new cases reported during this period. Critical analyses and review of the current outbreak response is being undertaken to inform the process of developing prioritized national operational plans. Effective implementation of the prioritized plans will be vital in reversing the current trend of EVD outbreak, especially in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

WHO has been working with national authorities and partners in the affected countries to analyse and review the current outbreak response. An assessment of the outbreak response conducted in Liberia identified several gaps and challenges. Some of the gaps identified include low coverage of contact tracing; persisting denial and resistance in the community; weak data management; inadequate infection prevention and control practices, especially in peripheral health facilities; and weak leadership and coordination at sub-national levels. Underpinning these challenges were limited financial resources and human technical capacity. Comprehensive mapping of the financial, logistics, and human resource needs will be articulated in the national operational plan under development. This exercise of developing prioritized operational plans is also being conducted in Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Podcast: Quiet Moment around the Campfire

Byron Breedlove reads his essay, "Quiet Moment around the Campfire," about the art of Frederic Remington and the transmission of pathogens as frontiers expand.

July 2014 Issue Now Online

A new issue of the Emerging Infectious Diseases journal is available on the journal website.
Syndicate content