The World Health Organization (WHO) in its weekly epidemiologic update said that the number of new Ebola cases in Guinea and Sierra Leone have gone down a little, with much of the disease activity centered in the two capital cities.
Tests have confirmed 26 Ebola cases which has come down from 30 cases in the two countries, among which 22 cases are from Guinea and 4 from Sierra. Even though the progress against the disease has been stagnant over the past several weeks, officials said they saw more hopeful signs in contact tracing. No new cases were reported in Liberia.
According to the WHO, the total in the three countries has reached 27,705 confirmed, probable, and suspected cases, including 11,269 deaths.
Fifteen of 26 confirmed cases are from Conakry and Freetown. The pattern has shifted from districts in the western parts of each country to the capitals in the past few weeks. For instance, previous cases were highest in Boke district in Guinea and Kambia in Sierra Leone, which haven't reported any cases for 18 and 9 days, respectively.
Conakry's cases were all in registered contacts from two transmission chains, and two involved healthcare workers. Other parts of Guinea that reported cases were Coyah, which had its first 2 cases since April, and Forecariah district, which confirmed 7 cases, only 1 of them from an unknown source.
Two cases were identified in Freetown where one of them was a healthcare worker whose illness was recognized while he or she was in a voluntary quarantine facility. The case had advanced disease and the source of infection was unknown. Sierra Leone's other two cases were in Port Loko and were both linked to a transmission chain involving an infected woman who died during childbirth.
Improvement in contact tracing and case investigation was evident from the fact that only 2 of this week's 26 cases were from unknown transmission chains. A total of three healthcare workers were infected with Ebola, bringing the outbreak total to 879, including 510 deaths.
Of the 6 infections that were detected in Liberia, 2 patients died, 4 have been discharged from the hospital, according to Liberia's Ministry of Information. 56 contacts are still being monitored.
Reemergence from an Ebola survivor than an importation from Guinea or Sierra Leone as pointed out by recent genetic sequencing tests but the means of transmission remains unclear.