First Full Week with No Ebola Cases Reported Since March 2014October 8, 2015 in Ebola
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported on Wednesday that no new Ebola cases were confirmed last week, effectively marking the first full week without any new cases of the deadly disease being recorded in a year an a half.
In its latest situation report on the West African Ebola outbreak, the WHO disclosed that ‘no confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease were reported in the week to 4 October,” adding, “this is the first time that a complete epidemiological week has elapsed with zero confirmed cases since march 2014.” On Wednesday, WHO officials noted that the epidemic had clearly entered a third phase, noting that the focus was no on driving “case incidence to zero, and ensure a sustained end to (Ebola) transmission.” He UN health agency also disclosed that all contacts had been completely followed up in Sierra Leone, which has seen no new cases for the past three weeks.
While Wednesday’s report is good news for the region, which has been severely affected by the outbreak, the WHO has warned that the danger is still not over, adding that two high-risk contacts in Sierra Leone, one from Bombali and one from Kambia, have gone missing. The WHO has indicated that “efforts to trace these missing contacts and mitigate the risk of any undetected transmission will continue until at least 42 days have elapsed since the last reported case in each district.” Meanwhile in neighbouring Guinea, over 500 contacts remain under follow-up in three of the country’s prefectures, with the WHO noting that all the contacts were associated with a single chain of transmission centered on the Ratoma area of the capital, Conakry. Another 290 contacts had been identified but had not been traceable for the past 42 days. The four latest cases in Guinea, reported on September 26 and 27 in Forecariah, were people infected by an unregistered contact, likely linked to the Ratoma transmission chain.
The deadliest-ever outbreak of Ebola, since the virus was identified in central Africa in 1976, has killed to date 11,312 of the 28,457 people infected since December 2013, with nearly all the victims in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. In early September, Liberia was declared free of Ebola transmission for a second time, while late last month, Sierra Leone officially began a 42-day countdown towards becoming Ebola free.