The World Health Organization has released an updated Ebola situation report. Worldwide, there are over 20,700 cases and 8,200 deaths, however cases and deaths are likely to be under-reported in the three-most affected countries Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. New cases continue to decline in Liberia and appear to be stabilising in Sierra Leone. In Guinea the number of new cases is fluctuating and new areas have reported transmission for the first time.
There has been a concentrated focus on getting to 100% safe and dignified burials and 100% isolation and treatment of cases. There are currently more than double the number of available beds than cases in Guinea, 15 times in Liberia and over 4 times as many beds in Sierra Leone, but the uneven distribution of treatment centres is hampering efforts in remote areas. Follow-up of registered contacts is reaching more than 90% across the three countries. Laboratory capacity continues to increase to ensure samples can be processed within 24 hours of collection in all areas. In West Africa the case fatality rate is around 70%, however it is lower amongst hospitalised patients at approximately 60%. Globally, 838 healthcare workers have been infected and 495 have passed away.
Mali is now 31 days since the last confirmed patient tested negative on 6 December 2014. With the first confirmed case in the United Kingdom still undergoing treatment, there are 30 contacts currently under follow-up.
Analysis of the cases reported to date show that men and women have been equally affected and people over 15 years are several times more likely to become infected than children 14 years or younger.
Sierra Leone: The Ministry of Health has announced 24 newly confirmed cases and 5 confirmed deaths for 6 January. Read more here.