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Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa (Update)

29 Dec 2014

Worldwide, 19 497 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 7588 deaths have been reported. The incidence of new cases is fluctuating in Guinea and declining in Liberia. In Sierra Leone, the increase in incidence appears to have slowed, however, the west of the country has the most intense transmission of the affected countries at present. Response efforts to the outbreak have been strenghthened in the affected areas.

As of 21 December 2014, a total of 19 463 confirmed, probable and suspected cases of EVD and 7573 deaths have been reported to WHO by the Ministries of Health for Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. The distribution of the cases in West Africa is listed below, case numbers include confirmed, probable and suspected:

  • Guinea - 2597 cases and 1607 deaths, cases in last 21 days 328.
  • Liberia - 7862 cases and 3384 deaths, cases in last 21 days 121.
  • Sierra Leone - 9004 cases and 2582 deaths, cases in last 21 days 1039.

Advice for Travellers

The risk of travellers becoming infected or developing Ebola haemorrhagic fever is extremely low, unless there has been direct contact with blood or bodily fluids of dead or living infected persons or animals. Healthcare workers are at particular risk, although practising appropriate infection control should effectively prevent transmission of disease in this setting.

Travellers returning from tropical countries should always seek rapid medical attention if they develop flu-like symptoms (such as fever, headache, diarrhoea or general malaise) within three weeks after return, and be reminded to mention to their health care provider that they have recently travelled.