The Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in the intense-transmission countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone continues to hit new highs and one group of people have been affected particularly hard- the Ebola health care workers.

Image/Lindsey Horton
Image/Lindsey Horton

According to a World Health Organization (WHO) Roadmap Update Wednesday, a total of 820 health-care worker infections have been reported in the intense-transmission countries where some 488 deaths were recorded (a case-fatality rate of nearly 60%).

There have been 20,712 confirmed, probable, and suspected cases of EVD in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with 8,220 deaths (deaths are under-reported according to the UN health agency).

There have been 26 reported confirmed and probable cases per 100,000 population in Guinea, 206 cases per 100,000 population in Liberia, and 170 cases per 100,000 population in Sierra Leone.

The current situation in each country is described below:

In Guinea, 74 confirmed cases were reported in the 7 days to 4 January 2015. There is no discernible upward or downward trend. However, EVD continues to spread geographically, with the western prefecture of Fria reporting confirmed cases for the first time.

In Liberia, case incidence has declined from a peak of over 300 new confirmed cases per week in August and September to 8 new confirmed cases and 40 probable cases in the 5 days to 2 January, 2015.

In Sierra Leone, there are signs that case incidence may have leveled off in Sierra Leone, although with 248 new confirmed cases reported in the week to 4 January 2015, it remains by far the worst-affected country at present.