Ebola News Digest - December 24

December 25, 2014

map.pngMoH data by County/District


               WHO Ebola Data


Countries with Widespread and Intense Transmission of Ebola



Total Cases

**New cases reported in past 21 days

Total Deaths

**New deaths reported in past 21 days


WHO Data 12/24/14





Sierra Leone

WHO Data 12/24/14






WHO Data 12/24/14











*These numbers are subject to change due to on-going reclassification. **Estimate based on numbers reported 21 days prior.

Countries with Localized Transmission of Ebola



Total Cases

New cases in the past 21 days

Total Deaths

New deaths


WHO Roadmap 12/10/14






WHO Roadmap 12/10/14






WHO Roadmap 12/10/14






WHO Roadmap 12/10/14






WHO Roadmap 12/10/14












A man peddles plastic Christmas trees and lights in downtown Monrovia.

A man peddles plastic Christmas trees and lights in downtown Monrovia.

Christmas In Liberia: Ebola Fears, No Snow, Holiday Spirit

NPR--Ebola has cast a shadow over Liberia, but it can't stop Christmas. Despite the trauma of the past year, Liberians are trying to have a happy holiday season. Carols are playing on the radio and there's lots of decorating — and painting — going on.

Christmas Lockdown Feels Too Familiar for an Ebola Pioneer

Bloomberg--That thought keeps scientist Peter Piot awake at night. Piot, who was part of the team that discovered the virus four decades ago, was struck by how little the anti-Ebola arsenal had changed when he visited Sierra Leone last week. The government there banned year-end festivities to limit contagion.

CDC reports potential Ebola exposure in Atlanta lab

Washington Post--As many as a dozen scientists may have been exposed to the Ebola virus at a lab of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, agency officials said Wednesday. The potential exposure took place Monday when scientists conducting research on the virus at a high-security lab mistakenly put a sample containing the potentially infectious virus in a place where it was transferred for processing to another CDC lab, also in Atlanta on the CDC campus.

Fear lingers in Mali despite no new Ebola cases

A 17-year-old boy hawking disinfectant soap on the streets of this capital city says his business has grown as Malians have taken to washing their hands throughout the day. "It's because of Ebola," Yacouba Bamaba said. Even after the Malian government announced this month that the last person in the country with Ebola had recovered, locals remain paranoid about the virus that flared up briefly in Mali but has killed thousands in West Africa since the spring.

Latest Ebola outbreak profile shows varied patterns in 3 hard-hit nations

CIDRAP--Sierra Leone's western area is seeing the most intense Ebola activity, and in Guinea a surge of cases in the southeastern district of Kissidougou propelled the country into its highest weekly case incidence of the outbreak, the World Health Organization (WHO) said today.


Sierra Leone bans Christmas parties amid Ebola

(AP) -- Alice Marke and her family aren't celebrating Christmas the way they used to: The deadly Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone means no festive parties at the beach, no carolers singing at night....


Liberia's UN mission reports 4th Ebola case

(AP) The U.N. peacekeeping mission in Liberia says one if its staffers has contracted Ebola, bringing to four the number of its members who have come down with the disease during the worst outbreak on record.

Ebola Crisis Could Last through 2015

scientific american--The Ebola crisis in West Africa that claimed its first victim exactly a year ago is likely to last until the end of 2015, according to a scientist who helped to discover the virus.


Sierra Leone hospital staff strike over Ebola payments

Pregnant women sent home after medics claim they are owed more than £70,000 in outstanding Ebola hazard payments. The Sierra Leonean government?s attempt to finally contain Ebola this Christmas with a five-day lockdown was dealt a setback after staff at a hospital went on strike.Pregnant women in Sierra Leone?s third largest town have been left without health care after doctors, nurses and support staff downed tools, claiming they are owed more than £70,000 by the government in outstanding Ebola hazard payments.    


U.S. Health Agency Recaps Top Public-Health Threats of 2014

us embassy.gov--The U.S. agency charged with protecting public health faces more than the Ebola threat in 2014.


Ebola’s reign of terror: since outbreak a year ago virus has killed almost 7,000

the guardian--Barack Obama called the epidemic a potential threat to global security but only west Africa knows its true horror. It is now a year since the outbreak of Ebola in Guinea, after a toddler in the rural south-east came into contact with a fruit bat. By March, the virus had spread across the border to Liberia and it reached Sierra Leone in May. More people have died in this outbreak  6,915 as of 17 December, according to the World Health Organisation than in all known occurrences combined.  


UNMC Shares Ebola Knowlege  

UNMC Shares Ebola Knowlege Workers at the Nebraska Public Health Laboratory have successfully tested dangerous Ebola samples, sharing their experience with other labs across the country and around the world. Lab Director, Dr. Pete Iwen, says the first difficulty faced by lab ;..   


Next in Ebola Plan: UN Teams to Study Lines of Transmission

voa news--Medical detective work will be the next big phase in the fight against Ebola when the United Nations deploys hundreds of health workers to identify chains of infection as the virus passes from person to person, top U.N. health workers said. The health teams will travel to each district and region of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, the three countries at the center of the epidemic, to trace who each infected person has potentially contacted. The effort will run in parallel with measures to minimize the spread of infection, such as treating all Ebola patients in specialized centers and burying all victims safely. Phase Two of plan But Phase Two of the plan is to contain the virus by understanding its lines of transmission, said World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan.


A Welcome Holiday Gift for Crew of Ebola-aid Ships

A Welcome Holiday Gift for Crew of Ebola-aid Ships America is leading the global effort to end the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. And part of the Obama Administration's whole-of-government response has included some recent heavy lifting by two ships from the Maritime Administration's (MARAD) Ready ;...


Ebola Crisis - Doing Whatever It Takes  

all africa--Doing Whatever It Takes The Ebola epidemic which has coursed through West Africa began almost exactly a year ago with a boy in the forests of Guinea. Helping to stop the spread of the disease is a challenge unlike anything Save the Children has ever faced before. But the choice ;...

Sierra Leone receives Chinese equipment for new medical lab

A chartered Chinese cargo plane Tuesday landed at Freetown’s Lungi International Airport with equipment meant for the construction of a permanent laboratory for the Ebola hit country. The cargo comes about three months since the Chinese made the promise to construct a lab that’s capable of testing for diseases hitherto more sophisticated than Sierra Leone [...]


African Development Bank Supports Sierra Leone Ebola Response

Sierra Leone FREETOWN - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a US$1 million grant from the African Development Bank (ADB) to help fight Ebola in Sierra Leone. The contribution will be used to support the Government of Sierra Leone and WFP in meeting the essential food and nutrition needs of vulnerable people and communities affected by Ebola. With this grant, WFP will provide food assistance for two months to 30,000 people. In some areas worst-affected by the disease, WFP will introduce cash transfers, where those in need are provided with money to buy their own food locally, so that the benefits spread beyond the person receiving assistance to the wider community.    

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Joint Forces Command - United Assistance completed the 101st flight hour over Liberia in support of United Assistance.    

Ugandan Ebola expert shows African solidarity

When Ebola crossed from Guinea into Liberia, launching an aggressive chain of transmission that would quickly make it the worst outbreak of the virus in history, Anne Atai Omoruto sprang into action. The Ugandan doctor with 14 years' experience in battling the tropical pathogen packed her bags immediately and journeyed into harm's way.



The perilous trek of a 4-year-old Liberian suspected of having Ebola

Washington Post--Darius Bondo was suspected of having Ebola, but no ambulance was coming. Three rivers and a rain forest uncut by roads lay between the skinny 4-year-old in a remote village and transportation to a treatment center. So on a December afternoon, aid workers who had hiked to Quewein to help stanch an outbreak led Darius out, an arduous two-hour journey that might mean the difference between life and death. For their own protection, the workers instructed the little boy, who had a fever, to clutch the end of a long stick.

Local Liberian Communities Take Action

The fight against the Ebola epidemic is a critical global issue that has captivated the attention of the broader international community. It has been a decade since Liberia emerged from an extended civil war. During this period of reconstruction, Liberia has moved forward on a path to recovery by achieving progress in health, education, and economic development. Sadly, the current epidemic threatens to undo the gains made over the past decade. The Government of Liberia has been overwhelmed by the rapid spread of the Ebola virus disease. Further, significant delays in foreign assistance has hindered disease containment efforts. I have been fortunate at JSI to work with people from around the globe, committed to improving the health of the underserved, and often times staff are working in their own country and even neighborhoods.    


Liberia Ebola Daily Sitrep no. 219 for 20th December 2014

Source: Government of Liberia Country: Liberia


SRSG statement following a fourth Ebola case within UNMIL

UN Mission in Liberia Country: Liberia Monrovia, 24 December 2014 Special Representative of the Secretary-General Karin Landgren made the following statement today: On Tuesday, 23 December, an UNMIL staff member tested positive for the Ebola Virus Disease and was immediately transferred to an Ebola Treatment Unit. Our thoughts are very much with the staff member and their family. UNMIL is taking all necessary measures to mitigate any possible further transmission ? both within the mission and beyond. In line with World Health Organization protocols, the UNMIL Medical team is conducting robust contact tracing to ensure that all people who came into contact with the staff member while symptomatic are assessed and quarantined. All UNMIL staff considered at-risk are being isolated. The vehicles used to transport the patient and locations they visited while symptomatic are being decontaminated.


'Ebola Exposes Liberia's Vulnerable Health System'  

all africa--Ebola Exposes Liberia's Vulnerable Health System' A Liberian Physician and Epidemiologist, who contracted and survived the Ebola virus attack, has admitted that the disease came to expose to the world Liberia's weak and vulnerable health system. Dr. Philip Z. Ireland, a panelist during a one-day Liberia ;...


The Paradox of the Ebola Attack On Liberia

all africa--The Paradox of the Ebola Attack On Liberia Today, if there is any news or issue that is of great importance to the Liberian people, then, it is the result of the just ended Special Senatorial Elections, which is seemingly indicating surprises, as the National Elections Commission (NEC) began announcing ;...   


Ebola treatment unit in Buchanan opens

Singing, clapping and dancing greeted Soldiers of the 36th Engineer Brigade, out of Fort Hood, Texas, as they walked up to a tent to attend the grand opening ceremony of the Ebola treatment unit near Buchanan, Liberia, Dec. 22, as part of Operation United Assistance.


Christmas in the time of Ebola: documenting daily life in Liberia

the guardian--The site Ebola Diaries is exploring the impact of the outbreak ?beyond the hazmat suits and headlines?. Here are some of their Instagram images More than 3,300 people have been killed by Ebola in Liberia this year, with the outbreak affecting every area of daily life from recent elections to preparations for Christmas. The website Ebola Dairies has been documenting the outbreak ?beyond the white hazmat suits and sensational headlines?, and has given us access to some of their Instagram photos.


Sierra Leone   

Remembering health workers who died from Ebola in 2014

Lancet--The Ebola outbreak in west Africa has had a devastating effect on health workers in the three countries most affected by the virus. Of the nearly 17 000 cases of Ebola virus disease in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, at least 600 have been among health-care providers. More than half of them have died. The outbreak has also claimed the lives of doctors, nurses, and technicians from Mali, Nigeria, Spain, and the USA.

Save the Children's Sierra Leone Ebola Center Discharges its 60th Survivor

Save the Children--Save the Children has discharged the 60th cured Ebola patient from its Sierra Leone treatment center, as survival rates at its health facility continue to rise. Six-year-old Lamine* was discharged back to the care of his family on Monday, four days after he was admitted to the Save the Children-run treatment facility. Lamine, whose father passed away from Ebola a week ago, tested positive for Ebola on Friday but responded well to treatment and, thanks to the care of the medical teams, quashed the disease quickly.

Christmas in Sierra Leone: a Long-Overdue Ebola Care Unit for Local Health Workers

Eight months into the outbreak, a dedicated Ebola treatment facility for Sierra Leonean health workers who contract the virus still does not exist. There is a dedicated center for foreign healthcare workers, but Sierra Leonean health workers are not admitted. Sierra Leone is experiencing roughly 100 new cases of Ebola per day and accounts for half of all the confirmed Ebola cases in West Africa. Many of these cases are from new sources that are not on any contact tracing lists -- meaning they come from areas previously unidentified as Ebola zones. Kono, a 350,000 person district previously thought to have a relatively low case count, is one such hot spot. The discovery of 87 bodies buried there has prompted a government imposed lockdown of the area.

Ebola in Sierra Leone is not just a health crisis

Al Jezera--In the Christian calendar, Christmas is cause for celebration - a symbol of hope founded in the birth of a saviour. But in Sierra Leone, this time of merriment offers no respite from the misery currently being suffered. Indeed, as recent headlines have proclaimed, Christmas has now been cancelled. In the run-up to Christmas Day, Sierra Leoneans is once again under lockdown, following the prohibition of public gatherings to celebrate the occasion. The aim is to contain Ebola, the disease at the centre of a public health emergency in Sierra Leone, and neighbouring Guinea and Liberia.

Sierra Leone: Cured of Ebola, Rebecca returns to cure others

For many people, December 22 was the beginning of the holiday season. But for Rebeca Johnson, a Sierra Leone nurse who survived Ebola, it marked a return to work - and a new lease on life. "I will take the work normally as I did before. I will wear the full PPE, but I won?t ever be scared again because I have immunity." Ebola survivor tells her story Last weekend, as she prepared to return to work, she told her story to WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan and received a warm hug in return. "It felt good when she (Dr Chan) hugged me," said Rebecca, "I really appreciate all you people who have come to help us." Now fully recovered, Rebecca always carries her hospital discharge certificate to prove her good health. "In my community, I am stigmatized and people talk about me.


Sierra Leone communities organize Ebola response

In our chiefdom we have the necessary structures in place? leaders of all the villages are part of the Ebola response and fully involved, we have an active surveillance approach, and the population is well informed,? explains Philip Musa Koroma, Deputy Paramount Chief of Nimiyama Chiefdom in Kono district in Eastern Sierra Leone. He has just finished a meeting with the chiefdom Ebola Taskforce, where village leaders and representatives of civil society groups proposed and discussed solutions to the current situation. Aiming to mobilize all community members, this Ebola Taskforce embodies local, collective ownership in the fight against the disease. "After I tested positive for Ebola in the district hospital in Koidu, I was transferred to Kenema for treatment. I think my full recovery was due to the early use of supportive medicines and intravenous fluid.    


Sierra Leone: On the Front Lines of Ebola's Most Pressing Mystery

Alex Moigboi was panicking. He was preparing to enter the Ebola ward wearing just a pair of gloves and a plastic gown over his scrubs. It was totally inadequate?like a firefighter entering a burning building wearing a pair of Ray-Bans?and Alex knew it. But he couldn?t find the rest of the protective gear he needed: goggles, a Tyvek waterproof suit.    


Sierra Leone: 'Cumbersome' regulations in UK hampering Ebola effort

World Vision warns that efforts to contain Ebola outbreak in West Africa are being threatened by ?unnecessary? and ?cumbersome? measures imposed on volunteer medics It is now more than a year since ?Patient Zero?, the child in Guinea identified as being the first case that began spreading current epidemic, contracted the disease. Magnus Conteh, Health Advisor to the World Vision Ebola Response team, said: ?Yet just as real gains are being made in containing the outbreak, fresh restrictions are being imposed in the UK that will hinder the response.? Volunteer doctors and nurses from the UK?s National Health Service, who have travelled to Sierra Leone to provide much needed support to hard-pressed local medical staff, have been told by Public Health England that they will be banned from traveling on public transportation for more than an hour and will not be allowed back to work for three weeks after their return.


Sierra Leone MoH EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE - SITUATION REPORT (Sit-Rep) ??? 23 December, 2014


Sierra Leone: WFP Ebola Response Regional Situation Report, 15 - 21 December 2014

The Logistics Cluster, through the Air Coordination Cell (ACC) in Copenhagen, is coordinating four additional flights, on behalf of the humanitarian community, from the Cologne staging area; so far two free-of-charge flights have been provided to date. ? A total of 76 motorcycles, donated by the Government of Germany to UNMEER, have arrived in Freetown, Sierra Leone, to support the Western Area Surge social mobilization, additional surveillance and collection of lab samples. ? Four Mobile Storage Units (MSUs) have been successfully set up at Forward Logistics Base (FLB) Buchanan in Liberia.        


Sierra Leone: WFP West Africa Ebola Response Situation Report #18 24 December 2014

Third round of mVAM in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone The results of the third round of WFP data collection on food security by mobile phone (mVAM) provide a regional perspective on food-related coping strategies used by households in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The data was collected remotely by Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and text message (SMS) among 2,101 respondents across the three countries. The data analysis shows that, as of December, food security patterns have not returned to baseline levels. In Kailahun, Sierra Leone, and in Lofa County, Liberia, which were relatively food secure areas prior to the outbreak, households are continuing to rely on high levels of negative coping mechanisms despite changing transmission rates.


Eradicating Ebola - 'Changing Our Minds, Changing Our Attitudes'  

all africa--'Changing Our Minds, Changing Our Attitudes' Liberia's Special Senatorial elections, held on Saturday, December 20, 2014 across the country, may have been free and peaceful, but far from encouraging as a result of the poor turnout. Only less than thirty-percent of a total voting population of 1.9 million ;...

Survivors Protest Discrimination, Stigmatization

The Ebola Survivors Association of Liberia or ESAL has seriously complained of continuous discrimination and stigmatization against its members across Liberia.



Images from the Real Face of the Ebola Crisis

Scientific American--If you’ve even glanced at the news in the past several months, the grainy image of the microscopic, wormy Ebola virus as well as photographs of otherworldly workers dressed in hazmat suits have passed before your eyes. From afar, the contagion devastating West Africa can seem foreign or even reminiscent of bad science fiction—and perhaps that’s one reason why the world responds relatively slowly as the outbreak persists into its second year.






Blogs worth the Read


NEW! Program on Forced Migration and Health at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health




Published Research

News Sources


Video: Understanding Ebola

CDC Ebola Case Definition

Checklist for Healthcare Coalitions for Ebola Preparedness

AFRICOM: Preventing and Understanding Ebola

UNICEF Posters and Fact Sheets

TED Ideas

Twitter Feeds to Follow














USG Sites

UN Sites


Digest by:

Claudinne Roe


(U) claudinne.r.roe@ugov.gov

(410) 854-9536

CSC Contractor

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