@WHO & Partners Ebola Response In Guinea
The World Health Organization has published their latest Ebola update, showing 128 new cases reported over the two day period of August 10th-11th, including 56 deaths.
The WHO also released a clarification on country classifications (category 1, 2, or 3) via email to journalists, which you’ll find after the GAR (Global Alert & Response) update.
Disease outbreak news
13 August 2014
Epidemiology and surveillance
Between 10 and 11 August 2014, a total of 128 new cases of Ebola virus disease (laboratory-confirmed, probable, and suspect cases) as well as 56 deaths were reported from Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.
Contact tracing in Guinea, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone has resulted in a range between 94% and 98% of contacts of EVD cases being identified and followed-up. In Liberia, efforts are underway to strengthen contact tracing, but help is needed in this area. The Liberian Army has also recently placed a third province under quarantine as part of the ongoing effort to stop transmission of EVD.
Health sector response
On 11 August, WHO convened a panel of medical ethicists, scientific experts, and lay people from the affected countries to consider and assess the ethical implications for clinical decision-making of the potential use of unregistered interventions.
In the particular circumstances of this outbreak, and provided certain conditions are met, the panel reached consensus that it is ethical to offer unproven interventions with as yet unknown efficacy and adverse effects, as potential treatment or prevention.
Ethical criteria must guide the provision of such interventions. These include transparency about all aspects of care, informed consent, freedom of choice, confidentiality, respect for the person, preservation of dignity and involvement of the community.
Additional information on the outcomes of the meeting can be found at http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2014/ebola-ethical-review-summary/en/. A report of the meeting proceedings will be available to the public by 17 August 2014.
On the operational side, WHO is finalizing its strategic operations response plan and expects to share this with countries and partners in the coming days. Mapping is also underway to develop an operational picture in order to coordinate and move people and materials to areas of greatest need.
WHO does not recommend any travel or trade restrictions be applied except in cases where individuals have been confirmed or are suspected of being infected with EVD or where individuals have had contact with cases of EVD. (Contacts do not include properly-protected health-care workers and laboratory staff.) Temporary recommendations from the Emergency Committee with regard to actions to be taken by countries can be found at http://who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2014/ebola-20140808/en/.
Confirmed, probable, and suspect cases and deaths from Ebola virus disease in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone, as of 11 August 2014
Clarification on country groupings for Ebola outbreak:
On 8 August 2014, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Ebola outbreak in West Africa was a public health emergency of international concern. In addition she recommended governments take action depending on the situation within their countries.
On 13 August, the Ministry of Health and WHO in Kenya held a press conference to update media on the preparedness measures the government in Kenya was taking. In that press conference, WHO mentioned that Kenya was a category 2 country meaning it does not currently have a case of Ebola but there is movement of people between Kenya and the countries that do have cases.
- Category 1 – those affected with Ebola (Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone)
- Category 2 –at high risk of transmission because of movement of people between the affected countries or because they are nearby the affected countries. countries with a potential or confirmed Ebola case, OR unaffected States with land borders of affected countries.
- Category 3 – all other countries
Under the recommendations of the Director General after the Ebola Emergency Committee last week, countries that do not have cases should:
In the recommendations, countries are grouped by their vulnerability to importation for Ebola. For more information on that actions recommended for different groups of countries please see this website: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2014/ebola-20140808/en/
- Establish surveillance for cases of unexplained fever or deaths
- Establish access to a qualified diagnostic laboratory to test for Ebola virus
- Ensure that health workers are aware of and trained in appropriate infection prevention and control
- Establish rapid response teams with the capacity to investigate and manage Ebola virus cases and their contacts.
WHO Media Team