Ebola situation update

5 Dec 2014

According to the World Health Organisation’s latest Ebola situation report, a total of 15, 935 confirmed, probable, and suspected cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) have been reported in six affected countries (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Spain and the USA) and two previously affected countries (Nigeria and Senegal) up to the end of 23 November. There have been 5,689 reported deaths.

The WHO states that cases and deaths continue to be under-reported in this outbreak. Reported case incidence is stable in Guinea, stable or declining in Liberia, and may still be rising in Sierra Leone. The total number of cases reported in Sierra Leone since the outbreak began will soon eclipse the number reported from Liberia. The case fatality rate across the three most-affected countries in patients with a recorded definitive outcome is approximately 60%. 

The likelihood of an imported case in Australia remains very low and ongoing transmission from an imported case is unlikely due to infection control and public health response measures. While the likelihood that a febrile illness in a returned traveller is due to Ebola is very low, GPs should nevertheless be aware of the possibility of Ebola in patients with a compatible travel history. 

Further information for GPs can be found on the Department of Health website.