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Ebola Cases Fall in West Africa; Upswing in Threats to Health Workers
Feb 26, 2015

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said West Africa recorded 128 new confirmed cases of Ebola in the week to February 15, the first decrease in three weeks, but resistance in some communities threatened efforts to end the epidemic.

  • Guinea reported 52 new confirmed cases, its first week-to-week decline since January 25. 

  • Sierra Leone saw 74 new cases, 45 of which were in the capital Freetown. 

  • Liberia reported 2 new confirmed cases in the four days to February 12.

  • Despite the encouraging data concerning new transmissions, health workers continued to face challenges. 

  • Each of the three countries reported an increase in security incidents related to the Ebola response compared with the previous week, an upswing in the number of threats and violence against health workers.

  • Ignorance and fear is contributing to the disease's rapid early spread in West Africa in the worst outbreak on record. 

  • Violent attacks on healthcare facilities and workers and other incidents have continued despite large-scale education campaigns.

  • 23 people have been convicted of violence against healthcare workers or Ebola treatment centers and given prison sentences ranging from six months to one year. Thirteen others have received suspended sentences.

  • Guinea and Sierra Leone also combined to report 84 unsafe burials. 

  • Over 40 new confirmed cases were identified through testing after individuals had died in the community, away from treatment facilities, raising the risk of further transmission.

West Africa's year-long Ebola outbreak has now killed at least 9,365 people from among 23,218 cases recorded, mainly in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

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