The international fight against Ebola in West Africa is now focused on ending the outbreak, the World Health Organization said Thursday, as it shifts its response from trying to slow the spread of the virus.


Last week less than 100 new infections were reported in total in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, which are at the centre of the epidemic, for the first time since June.

Since the outbreak started in Guinea in December 2013, nearly 22,100 people have been infected in the three West African countries with some 8,800 deaths.

To stop the transmission of the virus in these countries, WHO said efforts have shifted to “ensuring that capacity for case finding, case management, safe burials and community engagement.”

Health services in the three countries have achieved the target of taking 24 hours or less for collecting patient samples and informing their health ministries of the results.

However, tracing people who had contact with Ebola patients is still far below WHO’s target.

Hospitals have also not been able to bring the fatality rate of their Ebola patients below the target of 40 per cent. Some 60 per cent of hospitalized patients have been dying, with no improvement over the past weeks.


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