WHO Collaborating Centre Network
Many of the internationally important outbreaks involve the diverse group of arboviral diseases and viral haemorrhagic fevers. The WHO Collaborating Centres global network of centres for these diseases has collaborating centres in every WHO region and about one third of the centres are in developing countries. These centres work in close partnership with WHO and Member States to investigate, confirm and control outbreaks. Through the WHO Collaborating Centre searchable database,information about those centres and laboratories dealing specifically with Ebola haemorrhagic fever is available.
Ebola haemorrhagic fever in Africa
There had been no recognized cases of Ebola haemorrhagic fever in Africa from the 1970s until the 1990s:
An international team was brought together under WHO coordination to assist the Ugandan Government. Over 400 Ebola cases were isolated and treated and 6 000 contacts tracked over a 30 000 sq. km area affected by ongoing conflict. In addition a high security field laboratory was established for the first time in an Ebola response by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, United States.
There was sustained follow-up to the initial containment of the outbreak: A permanent isolation ward was established in Gulu, Uganda and a community-based early warning surveillance and response system for priority infectious diseases was implemented June 2001. As a result, a new focus of 3 suspected cases of haemorrhagic fever was detected within three days, patients isolated and specimens tested negative at the National Institute for Virology, South Africa.
For more information on these outbreaks see the report from the Republic of Congo and a video presentation