The Ebola news coming out of Western Africa remains grim (see Crofsblog for the best day-to-day coverage in Flublogia) with 108 new cases reported over the span of 3 days (21 – 23 July) in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
Additionally, Nigeria is reporting their first probable (imported) case.
The case is a Liberian 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 18 July via Lomé, Togo. He was symptomatic while traveling, fell ill on 19 July, was admitted to a private hospital on 23 July, 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 confirmatory and other advance testing. The national authority in Nigeria is working closely with WHO and partners to ensure that this incident case is contained at the source.
Three weeks ago (see WHO Ebola Update – July 7th) this outbreak appeared to be slowing – particularly in Guinea, where no new cases had been reported for a week. Over the past couple of weeks we’ve seen a gradual resurgence of cases in Guinea, prompting the following caution from WHO.
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.
As part of a larger update on the situation in Western Africa, today the WHO released their latest Ebola Update:
New cases and deaths attributable to EVD continue to be reported by the Ministries of Health in the three West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Between 21 and 23 July 2014, 108 new cases of EVD, including 12 deaths, were reported from the three countries as follows: Guinea, 12 new cases and 5 deaths; Liberia, 25 new cases with 2 deaths; and Sierra Leone, 71 new cases and 5 death. These numbers include laboratory-confirmed, probable, and suspect cases and deaths of EVD.
As of 23 July 2014, the cumulative number of cases attributed to EVD in the three countries stands at 1 201, including 672 deaths. The distribution and classification of the cases are as follows: Guinea, 427 cases (311 confirmed, 99 probable, and 17 suspected) and 319 deaths (208 confirmed, 99 probable, and 12 suspected); Liberia, 249 cases (84 confirmed, 84 probable, and 81 suspected) and 129 deaths (60 confirmed, 50 probable, and 19 suspected); and Sierra Leone, 525 cases (419 confirmed, 56 probable, and 50 suspected) and 224 deaths (188 confirmed, 33 probable, and 3 suspected).
Although some of the local media coverage is suspect, we continue to see reports of healthcare workers infected (or killed), and stories of runaway patients (see Crofsblog First Ebola victim in Sierra Leone capital on the run) and chaos at local hospitals (see Crofsblog Liberia: Hospital deserted after Ebola fear).
WHO messaging on Twitter yesterday focused heavily on the importance of seeking treatment (there is no cure for Ebola, but many patients may survived with supportive treatment).