13 August 2014-Ebola virus disease update, West Africa

Epidemiology and surveillance

Between 10 and 11 August 2014, a total of 128 new cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) (laboratory-confirmed, probable, and suspect cases) as well as 56 deaths were reported from Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.
Contact tracing in Guinea, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone has resulted in a range between 94% and 98% of contacts of EVD cases being identified and followed-up. In Liberia, efforts are underway to strengthen contact tracing, but help is needed in this area. The Liberian Army has also recently placed a third province under quarantine as part of the ongoing effort to stop transmission of EVD.

Health sector response

On 11 August, WHO convened a panel of medical ethicists, scientific experts, and lay people from the affected countries to consider and assess the ethical implications for clinical decision-making of the potential use of unregistered interventions.
In the particular circumstances of this outbreak, and provided certain conditions are met, the panel reached consensus that it is ethical to offer unproven interventions with as yet unknown efficacy and adverse effects, as potential treatment or prevention.
Ethical criteria must guide the provision of such interventions. These include transparency about all aspects of care, informed consent, freedom of choice, confidentiality, respect for the person, preservation of dignity and involvement of the community.
Additional information on the outcomes of the meeting can be found at http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2014/ebola-ethical-review-summary/en/. A report of the meeting proceedings will be available to the public by 17 August 2014.
On the operational side, WHO is finalizing its strategic operations response plan and expects to share this with countries and partners in the coming days. Mapping is also underway to develop an operational picture in order to coordinate and move people and materials to areas of greatest need.

Disease update

Confirmed, probable, and suspect cases and deaths from Ebola virus disease in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone, as of 11 August 2014
11 August 2014:New cases and deaths attributable to EVD continue to be reported by the Ministries of Health in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. Between 7 and 9 August 2014, 69 new cases (laboratory-confirmed, probable, and suspect cases) of EVD and 52 deaths were reported from the four countries as follows: Guinea, 11 new cases and 6 deaths; Liberia, 45 new cases and 29 deaths; Nigeria, 0 new cases and 0 deaths; and Sierra Leone, 13 new cases and 17 deaths.(Article above quotes from WHO)

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