Widespread under-reporting and a lack of reliable data continues to place strain on efforts to provide detailed information regarding the 2014 Ebola outbreak. It has claimed at least 4493 lives according to the latest official report from the World Health Organization. Senegal and Nigeria are nearing the 42 day mark after which the outbreaks in those regions will be declared over if no new infections are reported. It is noteworthy that information released earlier this week indicated that the 21 day incubation upper limit was relevant to 95% of cases with 5% of cases occurring beyond the 21 day limit.

Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia continue to deteriorate with very little slowdown in sight. Case counts in most districts continue to increase despite the claims of under-reporting. Liberia which has been accused of attempting to hide Ebola cases after a recent ban on foreign media has reported 4249 cases in total. The total case count for the West African cluster has increased to 8973. The death tolls continue to exceed the number of confirmed cases particularly in Sierra Leone which, according to the report, is showing rampant spread of the virus.

The case count in Spain has remained constant with a single case reported while the official count for the USA has grown to 2. The US count excludes the third case which was announced earlier today. The United Nations has urged high risk countries to bolster their readiness in expectation of further global spread. The UN also warned that if the outbreak cannot be contained by the end of November the situation could be “unprecedented”.

The unrelated outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo remains stable with all contacts clear of symptoms after their 21 day follow-up suggesting that the outbreak in the Congo has been successfully contained.

WHO Situation Report – 15 October 2014