ebola liberia
Unsafe burials arising from a mistrust of health workers has given rise to new Ebola cases in GuineaJohn Moore/Getty Images

The number of new Ebola cases nearly doubled in Guinea, rising for the second week in a row in West Africa, according to the World Health Organization.

Mistrust of health workers continues to be a big problem, particularly in Guinea's capital Conakry, making it doubtful if President Alpha Conde's plan to eradicate Ebola by early March will work.

West Africa recorded 144 new confirmed cases of Ebola in the week to 8 February as compared with 124 the previous week, the WHO report said.

In Guinea, where the outbreak began, there were 64 new cases recorded as compared to 39 in the previous week.

"Despite improvements in case finding and management, burial practices, and community engagement, the decline in case incidence has stalled," the UN agency said.

An imam who conducted secret Ebola burial was detained by authorities. The action spurred local unrest and violence, while schools refused to open even after medical kits were distributed to students.

"The main threat to achieving our goal of zero cases in 60 days is this resistance in Conakry," Dr Sakoba Keita, national coordinator for the fight against the epidemic in Guinea, said.

The worst outbreak on record has now killed at least 9,177 people out of 22,894 recorded cases, mainly in the three worst-affected West African nations, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

High transmission rates continued in Sierra Leone despite cases dropping to 76 from 80. Liberia reported just three cases in the same period.

President Barack Obama has announced withdrawing troops from West Africa while announcing plans to help the nations reach their zero case target.

A vaccine trial in Liberia will test the efficacy of the modified cold virus developed by GlaxoSmithKline and NIH. It had been found to be safe in trials at the Jenner Institute though the immune response was lower than expected.