Ebola cases in Guinea & Sierra Leone drop

The UN health agency says in an update published this week that situation is encouraging.

FILE: Volunteer medics preparing to start their work on the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. Picture: The WHO official Facebook page.

PRETORIA - The World Health Organisation (WHO) says the number of Ebola cases reported in Guinea and Sierra Leone last week dropped to 18.

This is the lowest total this year.

The UN health agency says in an update published this week, that situation is encouraging.

However, it notes that officials are still unable to track exactly where the virus is spreading.

In Guinea, five of the country's nine new cases were detected only after the patients died; none had sought treatment in a hospital.

In Sierra Leone, only two of the nine cases were identified as contacts of previous Ebola patients.

In Liberia, the outbreak will be declared over on Saturday unless any new cases are announced.

The WHO estimates Ebola has killed more than 11,000 people in this current outbreak, the vast majority were in West Africa.

The UN mission for Ebola Emergency Response, established in September, is due to wind up at the end of July.