What is the situation in West Africa with the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak? These three statements by the World Health Organization (WHO) today pretty much sums it up: “There is evidence of an increase in the intensity of transmission in Guinea”, “Evidence obtained from responders and laboratory staff in the country suggests that the situation in Liberia is getting worse” and “EVD transmission is rampant in Sierra Leone”.

Public domain image/Mondo Magic
Public domain image/Mondo Magic

According to data submitted to the WHO, a total of 8997 confirmed, probable, and suspected cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) have been reported in seven affected countries (Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, and the United States of America) up to the end of 12 October. There have been 4493 deaths.

In the 3 West African countries where transmission is intense, the numbers are 8,973 cases and 4,484 deaths.

Concerning Liberia, there is missing data for Liberia reflecting the challenging nature of data gathering in countries with widespread and intense EVD transmission.

These challenges remain particularly acute in Liberia, where there continues to be a mismatch between the relatively low numbers of new cases reported through official clinical surveillance systems on one hand, and reports from laboratory staff and first responders of large numbers of new cases on the other.

In Guinea, a spike in cases has been reported in the capital of  Conakry. Significant under-reporting of cases is occurring in Monrovia, Liberia and intense transmission is occurring in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

The number of health care workers has increased to 427 with 236 fatalities. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page 

Related: Ebola outbreaks in Nigeria, Senegal almost officially over, WHO estimates 10,000 cases a week coming in West Africa