Two months ago the `official’ WHO tallies showed Sierra Leone trailing far behind Liberia (2304 to 3696) in total Ebola cases, but since then we’ve seen Sierra Leone catch up and pull ahead in the case count.
From the most recent WHO assessment:
EVD transmission remains intense in Sierra Leone, with 397 new confirmed cases reported in the week to 7 December (3 times as many as Guinea and Liberia combined). The worst affected area remains the capital, Freetown, which reported one-third (133) of all new confirmed cases (figure 3).
These numbers are routinely acknowledged to be undercounts, given the limits of surveillance and reporting in the region, and the reluctance of many to come forward for treatment.
Yesterday the AP reported on a grisly find at Sierra Leone’s latest Ebola hotspot in the Kono District in the eastern interior of the country, which has resulted in the declaration of a `lockdown’ of the area – no travel in or out – until December 23rd.
Published December 11, 2014
Health workers sent to Sierra Leone to investigate an alarming spike in deaths from Ebola have uncovered a grim scene: piles of bodies, overwhelmed medical personnel and exhausted burial teams.
The World Health Organization says the health workers from several local and international agencies are racing to the latest Ebola hotspot, a diamond-mining area that Sierra Leone put on "lockdown" Wednesday.
"In 11 days, two teams buried 87 bodies, including a nurse, an ambulance driver, and a janitor who had been drafted into removing bodies piled up at the only area hospital," the WHO said in a statement Wednesday night.
Last September Sierra Leone held a nationwide 3-day lockdown in a bid to identify those who were infected and contain the outbreak. While initially declared a `success’ by authorities (see BBC Report) – and mistakenly believed by many residents to have ended the epidemic – the continued spread of the virus has proved otherwise.
Despite some of the progress against the virus that has been made in the more populated regions of the country, there appears to be a good deal of activity in remote areas where there is little reporting, and even less control.