Ebola virus disease in West Africa


ebola-liberia-hcwEbola virus disease (formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever) is a severe, often fatal illness, with a case fatality rate of up to 90%. It is one of the world’s most virulent diseases. The infection is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected animals or people. Severely ill patients require intensive supportive care. During an outbreak, those at higher risk of infection are health workers, family members and others in close contact with sick people and deceased patients.
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Disease Outbreak News


Feature stories and media releases

14 August 2014 -- WHO today reiterated its position that the risk of transmission of Ebola virus disease during air travel remains low. Ebola is not airborne and can only be transmitted by direct contact with the body fluids of a person who is sick with the disease. On the small chance that someone on the plane is sick with Ebola, the likelihood of other passengers and crew having contact with their body fluids is low. WHO is therefore advising against travel bans to and from affected countries.
trad-chiefs-liberiaMembers of the National Traditional Council of Liberia addressed their communities in the 16 counties of the country. They urged people to take all possible measures to protect themselves from, and encouraged them to welcome the health workers helping in the response.

The new joint US$ 100 million response plan is part of an intensified international, regional and national campaign to bring the outbreak under control. “The scale of the Ebola outbreak, and the persistent threat it poses, requires WHO and Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to take the response to a new level, and this will require increased resources, in-country medical expertise, regional preparedness and coordination,” says WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan. “The countries have identified what they need, and WHO is reaching out to the international community to drive the response plan forward.”

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Essential information on disease, transmission, prevention

Fact sheet on Ebola virus disease

Frequently asked questions on ebola virus disease

Technical information:

  • Preparedness and response
  • Infection control
  • Patient care
  • Social mobilization
  • Epidemiology

Meetings/ statements

Ethical considerations for use of unregistered interventions for Ebola virus disease (EVD)
12 August 2014

Meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee Regarding the 2014 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa
6-7 September 2014

Special Ministerial Meeting on Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa
Accra, Ghana, 2 - 3 July 2014

icon Communiqué adopted at end of Ebola Virus Meeting in Accra (919.56 kB)