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Positive case discovery of improved Ebola virus case detection in Nimba County, Liberia in 2014 / 2015: lessons learned

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Document pages: 8 pages

Abstract: Goals. Early detection and isolation of patients infected with highly infectious diseases is very important for the management and control of epidemic diseases such as Ebola virus disease (EVD). In this article, we share lessons learned from the implementation of active case discovery as an improved EVD case discovery strategy in Nimba County, Liberia. method. We adopted the active surveillance strategy of the World Health Organization (who) to identify and report suspected EVD cases, track contacts of confirmed cases, and report community deaths. We identified, trained and deployed 1060 community health volunteers (CHV) in 718 communities in Nimba county. CHV is supervised by 142 health workers in its catchment area. Health workers are supervised by district health officials (DHOs). The DHOs reported to the County Health Team (CHT) who provided supportive supervision. Data collection was based on the EVD contact tracing and active case finding forms adopted from WHO. Data analysis was based on epi-weeks. Results. The number of EVD suspected cases increased by more than 75 following the initiation of active case finding. Average duration between symptom onset and case detection reduced from between three and five days to within 24 hours. Collection of oral swabs from dead bodies increased from two to 15 within the first week of active case finding strategy implementation. Reporting of other IDSR priority diseases and conditions also improved. Conclusion. Active case finding strategy in Nimba increased suspected EVD case detection and reduced the duration between onset of symptoms and detection of cases.

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