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Emergencies preparedness, response

Latest updates on the Ebola outbreak

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March-June 2016


End of Ebola transmission in Guinea and Liberia

June 2016 -- WHO declares the end of Ebola virus transmission in the Republic of Guinea and in Liberia. Forty-two days have passed since the last person confirmed to have Ebola virus disease tested negative for the second time. Guinea and Liberia now enter a 90-day period of heightened surveillance to ensure that any new cases are identified quickly before they can spread to other people.


Recovery toolkit: Supporting countries to achieve health service resilience

May 2016 -- The recovery toolkit is online library of guidance resources to support countries in the reactivation of health services which may have suffered as a result of an emergency, such as the Ebola outbreak. These services include ongoing programmes such as immunization, maternal and child health services, infection prevention and control.


Beyond Ebola, keeping patients and health workers safe

5 May 2016 -- The isolation and transit room near the entrance to Coleah Medical Centre is one of 12 that WHO built in the past year at under-resourced health facilities in Guinea with inadequate triage structures. Eight more are under construction, to be used for any highly infectious diseases, including Ebola.


Liberia and Guinea discharge final Ebola patients in latest flare-up and begin 42 days of heightened surveillance

2 May 2016 -- Liberia’s Ministry of Health, WHO and partners held a ceremony at the Ebola treatment facility in Monrovia to celebrate the recovery and discharge of a 2-year-old boy, the final patient in a latest flare-up in Liberia. His 5-year-old brother recovered a week earlier.


The role of training in the West Africa Ebola response

20 April 2016 -- The magnitude of the 2014-2015 West Africa Ebola outbreak combined with a dearth of local and international expertise in tackling the disease necessitated training on a mass scale. Over the duration of the epidemic, WHO and partners trained more than 8,000 health professionals from over 80 nations, including the Ebola-affected countries. To better understand the impact of the trainings, WHO commissioned a review, which was conducted by an independent, external body.


Looking, hopefully, towards an Ebola-free future

15 April 2016 -- WHO, partners and affected countries are stepping up planning for how to use an Ebola vaccine in response to an outbreak. The Ebola outbreak that struck Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone in 2014 prompted the search, on an exceptionally accelerated schedule, for a vaccine to prevent the disease. Although there has been more than one promising candidate, the vesicular stomatitis virus-ebola virus (VSV-EBOV) vaccine was selected.


Liberia and Guinea step up coordination to stem new cases of Ebola

7 April 2016 -- WHO and Ministry of Health teams in Guinea and Liberia have established epidemiological links between new Ebola cases in Liberia and a current flare-up of Ebola in neighbouring Guinea following intensified case investigations and contact tracing.


Emergency response to Ebola flare underway in Liberia

4 April 2016 -- WHO and Ministry of Health teams in Liberia and Guinea are investigating the origins of transmission in Liberia’s latest flare-up after learning that a woman who died from Ebola in Liberia last week had recently travelled from Guinea with her three young children. Liberian health authorities quickly reactivated the country’s emergency response mechanisms and with support from key partners.


Vaccination of Ebola contacts in Guinea

31 March 2016 -- Hundreds of people who may have been in contact with 8 individuals infected with Ebola virus in Guinea have been vaccinated with the experimental Ebola vaccine in a bid to contain the latest flare-up of Ebola. The VSV-EBOV vaccine currently being administered was found to be highly effective in preventing Ebola infection in a large trial conducted by Guinea’s Ministry of Health, WHO and partner agencies last year.


Ebola is no longer a public health emergency of international concern

29 March 2016 -- The 9th meeting of the Emergency Committee convened by the WHO Director-General under the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) regarding the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa took place on 29 March 2016. In the Committee’s view, the Ebola situation in West Africa no longer constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and the temporary recommendations adopted in response should now be terminated.


Hundreds of contacts identified and monitored in new Ebola flare-up in Guinea

22 March 2016 -- More than 800 contacts of recently confirmed Ebola cases in Guinea’s southern prefecture of Nzérékoré have been identified and placed under medical monitoring in a bid to contain a new flare-up of Ebola virus disease.


New Ebola cases confirmed in Guinea as WHO warns of more possible flare ups

18 March 2016 -- WHO has dispatched a team of specialists to a rural village in Guinea after 2 new cases of Ebola were detected and confirmed. Guinean health officials alerted WHO on 16 March to 3 unexplained deaths and said members of the same family were showing symptoms characteristic of Ebola.


Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone effectively managing Ebola flare-ups

16 March 2016 -- Health authorities from the 3 Ebola-impacted countries and representatives of partner organizations have expressed confidence in the capacity of these countries to effectively manage residual risks of new Ebola infections — pointing to the rapid government-led containment of recent flare-ups of the disease.


Caring for Ebola survivors

2 March 2016 -- Ebola virus has been detected in the breast milk of survivors up to 16 months after the onset of symptoms. Studies into virus persistence in breast milk are ongoing and more evidence is needed to understand the risk of transmission and duration of the virus. The revised guidance recommends that if Ebola virus is detected in breast milk, lactating survivors should suspend breastfeeding and use a safe breast milk substitute until they obtain 2 consecutive negative Ebola tests.