Rapid Risk Assessment: Outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa - 10th update, 14 April 2015

Risk assessment
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European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa. 10th update – 14 April 2015. Stockholm: ECDC; 2015.

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​As of 5 April 2015, WHO has reported 25 550 cases of Ebola virus disease in West Africa, including 10 587 deaths. The latest WHO report indicates that the number of new cases continues to decrease. Thirty cases were reported from just two countries, Guinea and Sierra Leone, for the week leading up to 5 April. Sierra Leone has reported a decreasing number of cases for five consecutive weeks, while in Guinea case numbers have continued to fluctuate in the past two months without a clear trend. It seems likely that human-to-human transmission has been interrupted in Liberia.

Executive summary

The significant drop of EVD cases in West Africa can only continue if control efforts are maintained, according to the latest update of ECDC’s rapid risk assessment. A resurgence of the epidemic remains a possibility and therefore surveillance, contact tracing and active case-finding should be strengthened, with the goal of reaching zero cases as soon as possible.

ECDC risk assessment also highlights that the risk of Ebola virus disease (EVD) being imported into the EU and the risk of transmission from an imported case remains low or very low. This as a result of the range of risk reduction measures that have been put in place by the Member States and the affected countries.

Currently, outbreaks of measles and meningitis are ongoing in Guinea, and there is a risk of further spread of vaccine-preventable diseases in Liberia and Sierra Leone. The interruption of immunisation activities since the start of the epidemic has resulted in the accumulation of susceptible individuals in all three countries. Countries affected could consider conducting catch-up vaccination campaigns for measles and polio in order to reduce the risk of outbreaks and re-establish routine childhood immunisation services. It is also important to restore public trust in the healthcare system and increase the utilisation of clinical and preventive health services.

As of 5 April 2015, 25 550 cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 10 587 deaths, have been reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) in nine reporting countries (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the USA).

The latest WHO report indicates that the number of new cases continues to decrease. Thirty cases were reported from just two countries, Guinea and Sierra Leone, for the week leading up to 5 April. This is the lowest weekly total since May 2014. The geographical area of transmission is shrinking in both Guinea and Sierra Leone, and transmission is now concentrated in and around the capital cities of Conakry and Freetown.

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