Health workers in Sierra Leone on Wednesday, February 18, launched a door to-door search for Ebola patients.

Unsafe burials carried out without recourse to proper procedures have also been blamed for the increase in infections.

"Teams of health workers backed by security personnel are trekking into outlying areas and knocking on doors of houses... to check whether people are telling us the truth about not hiding sick people," Morlai Dumbuya, a coordinator of the operation, told AFP.

"So far we have not met any resistance and people are co-operating,” he added.

The operation is being carried out in remote parts of Port Loko district, east of the capital, Freetown and will last for two weeks.

Sierra Leone’s government has promised a probe and prosecution into the spending of Ebola funds after auditors found that 25bn Leones ($5.7m) hadn't been accounted fo.