The World Health Organization has released their updated Ebola Roadmap status report, one that – among other things – raises the number of health care workers infected (and killed) rather dramatically over previous reports.
A week ago – in the three hardest hit countries – 660 HCWs were reported to have been infected, with 375 deaths. Today, that number jumps by 160 cases, and 113 deaths.
The accompanying email from the WHO states that marked increase `is due to additional cases reported from Sierra Leone that have occurred since the onset of the epidemic. These are not infections that have occurred between the two most recent reporting periods.’
Some excerpts from a much larger,and data-rich report include:
- Reported case incidence continues to fluctuate in Guinea, with no identifiable downward trend. Ebola virus disease (EVD) continues to spread geographically within the country, with the prefecture of Fria reporting 2 confirmed cases for the first time. Case incidence has declined to low levels in Liberia. There are signs that incidence has levelled off in Sierra Leone, although transmission remains intense in the west of the country.
- The UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) set twin targets of isolating and treating 100% of EVD cases, and conducting 100% of burials safely and with dignity by 1 January, 2015, in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
- Each of the intense-transmission countries has sufficient capacity to isolate and treat patients, with more than 2 treatment beds per reported confirmed and probable case. However, the uneven geographical distribution of beds and cases, and the under-reporting of cases, means that the UNMEER target of isolating and treating 100% of EVD cases is still not met in some areas. An increasing emphasis will be put on the rapid deployment of smaller treatment facilities to ensure that capacity is matched with demand in each area.
- Similarly, each country has sufficient capacity to bury all people known to have died from EVD, though the under-reporting of deaths means that the UNMEER target of 100% safe burial was not met.
- In addition to the two UNMMER targets, there are several other crucial aspects of the response, including rigorous contact tracing, access to laboratory services, and community engagement.
- Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone report that more than 90% of registered contacts are monitored, though the number of contacts traced per EVD case remains lower than expected in many districts. In areas where transmission has been driven down to low levels, rigorous contact tracing will be essential to break chains of transmission.
- There are currently 23 laboratories providing case-confirmation services in the three intense-transmission countries. Five more laboratories are planned in order to meet demand.
- Case fatality among hospitalized patients (calculated from all hospitalized patients with a reported definitive outcome) is approximately 60% in the three intense-transmission countries.
- A total of 820 health-care worker infections have been reported in the intense-transmission countries; there have been 488 deaths.
- Many elements of the response to the EVD outbreak, from safe burials to contact tracing, rely on actively engaging affected communities to take ownership of the response. UNICEF leads the community engagement arm of the EVD response. At present, 33 of 38 (87%) of districts in Guinea, 100% of districts in Liberia, and 57% (8 of 14) of districts in Sierra Leone have systems in place to monitor community engagement activities.