Struggles in Sierra Leone
Despite encouraging news of declining infections last week, especially in Liberia, Sierra Leone is seeing accelerating infection rates (Time), and infections are arising in areas where citizens had previously kept Ebola at bay (The Guardian).
Experts have warned that restrictions on the movement of people and goods could cause a food crisis in affected West African regions (NPR), and more evidence of a vicious cycle between Ebola infections and food shortages is appearing in Sierra Leone where thousands of people are breaking Ebola quarantines to find food because food deliveries are not reaching them in the quarantine zones (AP).
Tracing Contacts in Mali
After Mali recently discovered its first Ebola case and death, the situation in the country has remained stable. Authorities are still working to locate every potentially exposed Ebola contact, but there are no reports of new infections among those likely to have had physical contact with the young girl who died (Reuters).
Cases, Deaths and Locations
As of October 31 the totals, including cases in Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain and the United States, stand at 13,567 cases with 4,960 deaths (CDC). The number of cases is actually lower than last week because there were suspected cases in Guinea that are now no longer included in the total.
The situations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s separate Ebola outbreak and in Uganda’s outbreak of the Marburg Virus remain unchanged. Neither country has passed 42 days without a new infection, but each country is more than halfway to the 42 day threshold when their outbreaks can be officially declared over (CDC).