The number of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) cases and deaths increased by 290 and 166, respectively, since the last World Health Organization update two days ago. As at 23 September 2014, the total cases and deaths reported by the Ministries of Health of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone are 6553 (probable, confirmed and suspected) cases and 3083 deaths (CFR 47%).
The WHO points out concerning the data:
There are several points to be considered when interpreting epidemiological data for the EVD outbreak. Many of the deaths attributed to EVD in this outbreak occurred in people who were suspected, but not confirmed, EVD cases. EVD cases are only confirmed when a sample tests positive in the laboratory. If samples taken from a body test negative for EVD, that person is no longer counted among EVD deaths and the figures are adjusted accordingly. However, because laboratory services and treatment centres are currently overwhelmed, especially in Liberia, the numbers of probable and suspected cases, together with those confirmed, may be a more accurate reflection of case numbers. Work is also ongoing to resolve discrepancies between different sources of data, which may lead to a revision of the numbers of cases and deaths in the future.
Health care workers (HCW) have been hit especially hard by the outbreak with 375 HCWs are known to have developed EVD (67 in Guinea, 184 in Liberia, 11 in Nigeria, and 113 in Sierra Leone). 211 HCWs have died as a result of EVD infection (35 in Guinea, 89 in Liberia, five in Nigeria, and 82 in Sierra Leone), a 56% CFR.
The WHO also updated the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) yesterday. As at 24 September 2014, there have been 70 cases (30 confirmed, 26 probable, 14 suspected) of Ebola virus disease (EVD) reported in the DRC, including eight among health-care workers (HCWs). In total, 42 deaths have been reported, including eight among HCWs. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page