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No Ebola in SA: Health department

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There are no Ebola cases reported or confirmed in South Africa, the health department said on Friday.

This was while the total number of cases in the current outbreak of Ebola in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone had risen to 3069 probable and confirmed cases, spokesman Popo Maja said in a statement.

There had been 1552 deaths.

“The outbreak continues to accelerate. More than 40 percent of the total number of cases have occurred within the past 21 days,” he said.

“However, most cases are concentrated in only a few localities. The overall death rate is 52 percent. It ranges from 42 percent in Sierra Leone to 66 percent in Guinea.”

A separate Ebola outbreak, not related to the one in west Africa, was laboratory confirmed on Tuesday by the Democratic Republic of Congo.

It was also detailed in a separate edition of the Disease Outbreak News of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

“A detailed analysis by [the] WHO of exactly where transmission is occurring — by district level — and of time trends is ongoing,” Maja said.

“Preliminary results show that cases are still concentrated — 62 percent of all reported cases since the beginning of the outbreak — in the epicentre of the outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, where cases continue to rise.”

Capital cities were of particular concern, owing to their population density and repercussions for travel and trade.

The WHO and its partner organisations were on the ground establishing Ebola treatment centres, and strengthening capacity for laboratory testing, contact tracing, social mobilisation, safe burials, and non-Ebola health care.

“The WHO continues to monitor for reports of rumoured or suspected cases from countries around the world and systematic verification of these cases is ongoing,” Maja said.

“Countries are encouraged to continue engaging in active surveillance and preparedness activities.”

The health department continued to monitor the situation and would keep South African citizens informed, he said. SAPA

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