Geneva (AFP) – The weekly number of new Ebola cases registered across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone rose in the last week of January, marking the first hike in 2015, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.
“Weekly case incidence increased in all three countries for the first time this year,” the UN health agency said.
During the seven days
leading up to February 1, 124 new cases were confirmed across the three west African countries at the epicentre of the devastating outbreak.
Thirty-nine of the new cases were in Guinea, where the outbreak began in December 2013, with at least 11 new cases attributed to a single unsafe burial.
A week earlier, the country had confirmed just 30 new cases.
Liberia meanwhile recorded five new cases last week, up from four the week before, and Sierra Leone confirmed 80 new cases, up from 65, according to the latest statistics. “Continued community resistance, increasing geographical spread in Guinea and widespread transmission in Sierra Leone, and a rise in incidence show that the (Ebola) response still faces significant challenges,” the WHO said.
In total, 22,495 people have been infected with the virus across nine countries, and 8,981 of them have died, according to the latest numbers.
All but 15 of the deaths have occurred in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.