The World Health Organization has published a new update on the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. I’ve only posted some excerpts, follow the link to read the 4 page document in its entirety.
16 September 2014
Following the roadmap structure, country reports fall into two categories: those with widespread and intense transmission (Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone); and those with an initial case or cases, or with localized transmission (Nigeria, Senegal)
A second meeting of the Emergency Committee convened by the Director-General under the International Health Regulations (2005) [IHR (2005)] regarding the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa will begin discussion via email this week. The meeting will review the status of the outbreak as a public health emergency of international concern, and assess the impact of current temporary measures to contain the outbreak and reduce international spread.
1. COUNTRIES WITH WIDESPREAD AND INTENSE TRANSMISSION
4963 (probable, confirmed and suspected; see Annex 1) cases and 2453 deaths have been reported in the current outbreak of Ebola virus disease as at 13 September 2014 by the Ministries of Health of Guinea and Sierra Leone, and as at 9 September by the Ministry of Health of Liberia.
Table 1: Probable, confirmed and suspected cases of Ebola virus disease in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone
There are several points to be considered when interpreting epidemiological data for the Ebola outbreak. Many of the deaths attributed to Ebola virus in this outbreak occurred in people who were suspected, but not confirmed, to have died from the disease. Ebola cases are only confirmed when a sample tests positive in the laboratory. If samples taken from a body test negative for Ebola, that person is no longer counted among Ebola deaths and the figures are adjusted accordingly. However, because laboratory services and treatment centres are currently overwhelmed in several countries, the numbers of probable and suspected cases, together with those confirmed, may be a more accurate reflection of case numbers. Work is also ongoing to resolve discrepancies between different sources of data, which may lead to a revision of the numbers of cases and deaths in the future.