ebola liberia
Unsafe practices during burials of victims of the disease are believed to have contributed to the rising figures. John Moore/Getty Images

New figures show that the number of new cases of Ebola has gone up in all three of West Africa's worst-hit countries in the last week of January.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported the first significant increase in incidences of the disease in 2015, totalling 124 new cases.

Sierra Leone registered 80 of the 124 new cases, Guinea 39 and Liberia the remaining five.

Just a week ago the WHO announced its lowest weekly recording of new cases since June 2014, raising hopes that the declining figures demonstrated that the deadly disease might have been contained.

However, it is feared that unsafe practices, especially in Guinea, were continuing to hamper efforts to overcome the virus.

Eleven new cases were attributed to one unsafe burial that took place in eastern Guinea when mourners caught the disease by touching the highly-contagious bodies of their dead relative. A rapid response team has now been deployed to the region.

Nearly one-third of Guinea's 34 prefectures had reported at least one security incident, or other form of refusal to cooperate with health workers in the previous week.

Liberia has made the most progress than any of the other Ebola afflicted countries in raising awareness of the disease

The WHO emphasised the need to increase efforts to contain the virus ahead of the April-May rainy season, when downpours can block roads and make it difficult for health teams to travel.

Almost 9,000 people have died from Ebola since December 2013.

Its feared that the strain of Ebola that has devastated West Africa is https://www.ibtimes.co.uk/ebola-west-africa-strain-mutating-faster-drugs-being-developed-1484287mutating faster than scientists can develop drugs.

At present, there is no cure and experts are working to put experimental drugs into clinical trials. No regulatory body has approved any of the drugs being developed yet.