Ebola virus disease
25 March 2015 -- In a year of working to control the West African outbreak, which started in Guinea forestière, a region where the borders between Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone meet, and eventually spread to nine countries, WHO has mounted its largest emergency operation ever. WHO is now present in 77 field sites with more than 710 staff across 3 most affected countries, as well as personnel in Mali. Here, in an at-a-glance summary, are the elements of that response - the people, the equipment, the research and technical advice and information needed and provided to stop case numbers rising, and bring them ever closer to zero.
WHO is publishing Ebola Diaries, first-person accounts of WHO staff and others deployed to the field for Ebola response since the first cases were reported in West Africa on 23 March 2014. This diary is by Jose Rovira-Vilaplana, logistician, who was in the first WHO response team to arrive in Guinea in March 2014. Logisticians are the “doers” – the ones who make sure that everything is in place so that a response can take hold. Their work requires everything from overseeing construction of treatment centres, to taking swabs from cadavers for laboratory testing, to garnering support for necessary outbreak activities.
19 March 2015 -- WHO is publishing a series, Ebola Diaries, with first-person accounts of WHO staff and others deployed to the field for Ebola response since the first cases were reported in West Africa on 23 March 2014. This second diary is by Stéphane Hugonnet, who was one of the first WHO experts sent to Guinea to investigate cases of Ebola reported in late March 2014. A medical doctor who has spent the past 20 years working for WHO, MSF and others, managing outbreaks ranging from cholera, measles and yellow fever, to Lassa, Ebola and meningitis, Dr Hugonnet found a very different sort of outbreak when he arrived in Guinea.
18 March 2015 -- WHO is publishing a series, Ebola Diaries, with first-person accounts of WHO staff and others deployed to the field for Ebola response since the first cases were reported in West Africa on 23 March 2014. This first diary by Dr Pierre Formenty recounts how he received word of a cluster of cases in Guinea thought to be caused by Lassa virus but with features that made him very concerned that this was not Lassa fever but possibly Ebola virus disease, and how urgent testing revealed it was in fact the first ever outbreak of Ebola Zaire in West Africa.
19 March 2015 -- A Nigerian mobile lab has been operating in Sierra Leone as part of the international effort to help test Ebola samples in the current outbreak. The lab saves critical hours by testing the samples rapidly and reducing the need to transport samples over long distances. The lab plans to return to Nigeria to work on Lassa fever when the Ebola outbreak is over.
10 March 2015 -- In February 2015, cases of Ebola began appearing among the community of fishermen living in the coastal area of Aberdeen in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Over 20 cases occurred at the same time, suggesting they had been infected by one source, possibly an unsafe burial. WHO and partners immediately sent teams into the district to work with the community to identify all Ebola cases and those who had been in contact with them, to prevent further infections.
15 January 2015 -- One year after the first Ebola cases started to surface in Guinea, WHO is publishing this series of 14 papers that take an in-depth look at West Africa’s first epidemic of Ebola virus disease. The papers explore reasons why the disease evaded detection for several months and the factors, many specific to West Africa, that fueled its subsequent spread.
- Strategy and coordination
- Contact tracing
- Communication and social mobilization
- Epidemiological surveillance
- Infection prevention and control
- Safe and dignified burials
- Specialist response services
- Travel and points of entry
Response to the Ebola outbreak
Stories from the field
Ebola diaries: All in a day’s work
Ebola diaries: Hitting the ground running
Nigerian mobile lab in Sierra Leone: bringing skills learned in one outbreak to another
Preparedness of countries
Ebola preparedness strengthening team: country visits
Vaccination must be scaled up in Ebola-affected countries
WHO and World Food Programme join forces to reach zero Ebola cases
United Kingdom is declared free of Ebola virus disease
From crisis to sustainable development: lessons from the Ebola outbreak
Ebola one-year report
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Origins of the Ebola epidemic
- 3. Factors that contributed to undetected spread
- 4. Guinea: The virus shows its tenacity
- 5. Liberia: A country and its capital are overwhelmed
- 6. Sierra Leone: A slow start that outpaced all others
- 7. Key events in the WHO response
- 8. WHO technical support – a lasting impact?
- 9. Ebola vaccines
- 10. Classical Ebola virus disease in DRC
- 11. Successful responses in Nigeria, Senegal, Mali
- 12. The importance of preparedness – everywhere
- 13. The warnings the world did not heed
- 14. What needs to happen in 2015