Emergencies preparedness, response

Six months after the Ebola outbreak was declared: Introduction

Looking ahead

WHO is currently conducting systematic risk assessments to identify preparedness needs in neighbouring countries that are extremely worried about their susceptibility to an imported case and their capacity to respond. The results of the assessment, which will be made public soon, will guide preparedness support provided by WHO and its many partners in the Ebola response.

Theoretically, given the speed and volume of air travel, any city with an international airport is at risk of an imported case of Ebola. At the same time, worldwide vigilance is exceptionally high: WHO investigates around 20 to 30 rumoured cases each day. To date, all rumoured cases have been discarded.

Moreover, countries with well-developed health systems and services are unlikely to see much – if any – onward transmission of Ebola virus disease following an imported case. As today’s assessment of the situation in Nigeria and Senegal shows, conventional control tools can be highly effective at the start of an outbreak, even under some extremely challenging conditions.

This six-month situation assessment is dedicated to the scores of health workers treating Ebola patients in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone, who, as an expression of our innately shared human compassion, risked their lives, and lost them.

Cumulative number of Ebola cases and deaths

The cumulative number of cases and deaths, officially reported to WHO from 23 March to 22 September, is 5,843 cases and 2,803 deaths. To date, 337 health care workers have been infected, and more than 181 of them have died.