128 new cases of Ebola recorded within two days – WHO

ebola-vBetween August 10 and August 11, a total of 128 new cases of Ebola virus disease (laboratory-confirmed, probable, and suspect cases) as well as 56 deaths were reported from Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.

A statement issued by World Health Organisation (WHO) and copied to Ghana News Agency said contact tracing in Guinea, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone has resulted in a range between 94 per cent and 98 per cent of contacts of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) cases being identified and followed-up.

It said in Liberia, efforts are underway to strengthen contact tracing, but help is needed in this area, adding that the Liberian Army has also recently placed a third province under quarantine as part of the ongoing effort to stop transmission of EVD.

On August 11, 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.

The statement said 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.

It said ethical criteria must guide the provision of such interventions, declaring that 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.

On the operational side, WHO is finalising its strategic operations response plan and expects to share this with countries and partners in the coming days.

It said mapping is also underway to develop an operational picture in order to coordinate and move people and materials to areas of greatest need.

WHO does not recommend any travel or trade restrictions be applied except in cases where individuals have been confirmed or are suspected of being infected with EVD or where individuals have had contact with cases of EVD.

It said contacts do not include properly-protected health-care workers and laboratory staff.

The statement said temporary recommendations from the Emergency Committee with regard to actions to be taken by countries could be found at http://who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2014/ebola-20140808/en/.

It noted that the total number of cases is subject to change due to ongoing reclassification, retrospective investigation, and availability of laboratory results.

It said data reported in the Disease Outbreak News are based on official information reported by Ministries of Health.

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