Guinea reported its lowest weekly total of new confirmed Ebola virus disease (EVD) cases since the week ending 17 August 2014. 42 confirmed cases were reported in the 7 days to 11 January 2015.
Case numbers remain low in Liberia, with no confirmed cases nationally for the final 2 days of the week ending 11 January, and the lowest weekly total of confirmed cases since the first week of June 2014. Case incidence has declined from a peak of over 300 new confirmed cases per week in August and September 2014 to 8 confirmed cases in the 7 days to 11 January 2015
Case incidence is decreasing in Sierra Leone, although with 184 new confirmed cases reported in the week to 11 January 2015, it remains the worst-affected country.
Each of the intense-transmission countries has sufficient capacity to isolate and treat patients, with more than 2 treatment beds per reported confirmed and probable case. However, the uneven geographical distribution of beds and cases, and the under-reporting of cases, means that not all EVD cases are isolated in several areas.
Similarly, each country has sufficient capacity to bury all people known to have died from EVD. However, the under-reporting of deaths means that not all burials are done safely.
Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone report that between 84% and 99% of registered contacts are monitored, though the number of contacts traced per EVD case remains lower than expected in many districts. In areas where transmission has been driven down to low levels, rigorous contact tracing will be essential to break chains of transmission. In the week to January 11, 15% of new confirmed cases in Guinea arose from known contacts (equivalent information is not yet available for Liberia and Sierra Leone).
There are currently 27 laboratories providing case-confirmation services in the 3 intense-transmission countries. Four more laboratories are planned in order to meet demand.
Case fatality among hospitalized patients (calculated from all hospitalized patients with a reported definitive outcome) is between 57% and 60% in the 3 intense-transmission countries.
A total of 825 health-care worker infections have been reported in the 3 intense-transmission countries; there have been 493 reported deaths.
Many elements of the response to the Ebola outbreak, from safe burials to contact tracing, rely on actively engaging affected communities to take ownership of the response. At present, 33 of 38 (87%) of districts in Guinea, 100% of districts in Liberia, and 57% (8 of 14) of districts in Sierra Leone have systems in place to monitor community engagement activities.
The cumulative number of EVD cases in the three countries stands at 21,261, including 8,414 deaths.