From the news desk

Half of Ebola infections in S Leone-Guinea border area

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Almost half of all Ebola infections in West Africa have been recorded in two districts located in the border region between Sierra Leone and Guinea, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Thursday.

The UN agency is now focusing its efforts on containing the deadly virus in the two worst affected areas: Kambia in western Sierra Leone and Forecariah in eastern Guinea.

“Almost 50% of all Ebola cases in West Africa are currently coming from the region between Kambia and Forecariah,” WHO Sierra Leone spokesperson Winnie Romeril told dpa.

The two districts are “the most active areas. We are investigating and tracing back cases. Because people are still dying at home, there remains a very high likelihood of infections”, according to Romeril.

The shift in focus comes after Sierra Leone gave the all-clear for the eastern district of Kailahun, where the health department last weekend mistakenly reported a new Ebola case.

Test result

Kailahun district, a former epicentre of the epidemic, had been Ebola-free for 112 days. A nine-month-old boy was said to have died from the virus, but it was later found that his test result had been mixed up.

“The positive result from an oral cotton swab did not come from the baby,” Romeril confirmed. “There were inconsistencies with the way the swab was done.”

“We are retraining [health workers] and addressing the gap in the system. We are confident that no active transmission [of Ebola] is happening in the family [of the baby] or the community,” the spokesperson said.

Sierra Leone is one of the countries hardest hit by an Ebola epidemic, with more than 11 800 reported infections and over 3 700 deaths.

The worst Ebola outbreak so far has killed nearly 10 500 people, mainly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. DPA

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