Emergencies preparedness, response

Epidemic clinical management (ECM)

WHO/C. Black

The aim of the epidemic clinical management (ECM) team is to contribute to WHO's efforts to prevent severe disease and premature death due to epidemic and pandemic diseases, thereby limiting disease transmission, defining strategic direction, and providing technical content expertise.

ECM topics include optimal and safe clinical management, effective disease prevention and treatment, prevention and control of health care-associated infections that could lead to or amplify epidemics, as well as promotion of research on clinical management (practices, diagnostics, treatments).


One of ECM's main activities is to train clinicians and healthcare workers in management of EIDs. Training is crucial to sustain and scale-up emergency responses. The ECM team has developed and disseminated training materials for use before deployment, as well as a number of disease-specific courses.

Training for severe acute respiratory infections (SARI)

WHO's SARI critical-care course provides training materials on clinical management to help front-line doctors working in intensive care units (ICUs) manage patients with severe influenza infection. The course will soon be made available.

Ebola training

Effective and timely training helps ensure that personnel on the ground have the ability to treat Ebola patients and prevent further transmission of the disease.

Additional resources

  • GO training
    A comprehensive package of modular pre-deployment training materials for WHO staff, consultants and partners deployed for the Ebola outbreak response in West Africa.
  • ePROTECT course
    A basic self-learning online introduction for personnel being deployed to work on the Ebola response.
  • UN Security training
    Basic and Advanced Security in the Field (BSITF, ASITF) trainings are mandatory for all UN travels and deployments.
  • How to register for eLearning modules?

Guidance and guidelines

In order to keep standards for clinical management up to date, the ECM team develops and updates guidance and guidelines for the clinical management of patients, based on current priorities and needs.

Guideline development group: Clinical management of patients with Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever

The proposed membership of a guideline development group (GDG) on clinical management of individual patients with Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever is available below. The GDG will convene in Berlin, Germany, on 4 and 5 April 2017 and the final guideline is expected to be completed by July 2017.

Guideline development group (GDG): Acute supportive care of patients with Ebola virus disease in resource-limited settings

The membership of a GDG on acute supportive care of patients with Ebola Virus Disease in resource-limited settings is available here. The GDG convened in London, United Kingdom, on 15 and 16 August 2016.

Clinical management of patients with viral haemorrhagic fever, a pocket guide for the front-line health workers

The purpose of this pocketbook is to provide guidance on best management practices for VHF across health-care facilities. Sections include: principles of VHF management, management of suspected or confirmed cases of Ebola, management of severe confirmed or suspected cases of Ebola or other VHFs, advice on providing psychological support as well as guidance on infection prevention and control.

Manual for the care and management of patients in Ebola Care Units/Community Care Centres

This manual provides guidance on best practices to be followed in Ebola Care Units/ Community Care Centres. It is intended for health aid workers (including junior nurses and community health-care workers) and others providing care for patients.

Clinical care for survivors of Ebola virus disease

There are more than 10 000 survivors of Ebola virus disease. A number of medical problems have been reported among survivors, including mental health issues. Ebola virus may persist in some body fluids, including semen, for months. Some Ebola survivors may need comprehensive support for any medical and/or psychosocial challenges both for their own personal well-being and to minimize the risk of continued Ebola virus transmission.

Clinical management of severe acute respiratory infection when Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection is suspected

This document is intended for use by clinicians taking care of critically ill patients (adults and children) with severe acute respiratory infection (SARI).

Personal protective equipment for use in a filovirus disease outbreak (Rapid advice guideline)

The risk of transmission of Ebola virus can be reduced if appropriate measures are taken, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). The urgent need for clear standards for PPE use became acutely apparent during the unprecedented outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in certain western African countries in 2013 – 2016.

Personal protective equipment in the context of filovirus disease outbreak response

This document summarizes recommendations for the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) by health workers providing clinical care for patients with filovirus infection (Ebola and Marburg).

IMAI district clinician manual: hospital care for adolescents and adults. Guidelines for the management of common illnesses with limited resources

The manual aims to provide clinicians at district hospitals with an effective, clinical approach and protocols for managing common and serious or potentially life-threatening conditions.


Training as part of the Ebola response.

The Emerging Diseases Clinical Assessment and Response Network is an operational platform that connects frontline clinicians and experts. This clinical network is used to share information and experience to enhance clinical care and scientific understanding of emerging infectious diseases, and includes a pool of clinical experts able to respond to outbreaks on short notice.

Contact us

For more information, please contact EDCARN Secretariat