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Between July 24 and 27, 2014, a total of 122 new cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD; laboratory-confirmed, probable, and suspect cases) as well as 57 deaths were reported from Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. The Ebola epidemic trend in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone remains precarious with ongoing community and healthcare facility transmissions of infection. The surge in the number of new EVD cases calls for concentrated efforts by all to address the identified problems, such as healthcare facility transmission and effective contact tracing.
On July 29, 2014, the National IHR Focal Point for Nigeria confirmed that the probable EVD case reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) on July 27, 2014 was symptomatic at the time of arrival in Nigeria and that 59 contacts (15 from among the airport staff and 44 from the hospital) have been identified so far. The report also confirms that the patient traveled by air and arrived in Lagos, Nigeria, on July 20 via Lomé, Togo, and Accra, Ghana. The sample from this case is yet to be sent to the WHO Collaborating Centre at the Institute Pasteur in Dakar, Senegal, due to refusal by courier companies to transport this sample. Though only one probable case has been detected so far in Nigeria, Ebola virus infection in this country represents a significant development in the course of this outbreak.
National authorities in Ghana, Nigeria, and Togo continue to work closely with WHO and it partners in identification of contacts and contact tracing as well as in preparing response plans.
In an effort to accelerate the response to the current EVD outbreak in West Africa, the director-general of WHO and other senior managers continue to hold discussions with the donor community, development partners, and international agencies at a global level. Focus of the discussion has centered on the need to rapidly deploy additional human and financial resources that will help interrupt Ebola transmission and end the outbreak.
Efforts are currently ongoing to scale up and strengthen all aspects of the response in the four countries, including epidemiologic investigations, contact tracing, public information and community mobilization, case management and infection prevention and control, coordination, and staff security. WHO is also working closely with various partners to finalize the national response plans that define urgent response needs in line with the Accra strategy adopted by WHO member states.
WHO and it partners – GOARN, CDC, MSF, UNICEF, IFRC, Institute Pasteur of Dakar, Save the Children, Plan Guinea, and others – continue to work together through the Sub-regional Ebola Outbreak Coordination Center (SEOCC) in Conakry to accelerate the control of this outbreak.
WHO does not recommend any travel or trade restrictions is applied to Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, or Sierra Leone based on the current information available for this event.