Ebola virus disease outbreak

Map of Ebola cases in West Africa from January 2014 to December 2015.

How the Ebola outbreak and WHO’s response unfolded

1 February 2016 -- WHO and partners are now in Phase 3 of the Ebola response, from August 2015 to mid-year 2016. The overarching goal is to interrupt all remaining chains of Ebola transmission, and to respond to the consequences of residual risks. To do this, several objectives have been outlined and we are working towards enhancing the rapid identification of all cases and contacts, improving Ebola survivor engagement and support, among others.

Ebola survivor, Liberia 2014

Guidance for Ebola survivors

22 January 2016 -- Today, there are over 10 000 survivors of Ebola virus disease. A number of medical problems have been reported in survivors, including mental health issues. Ebola virus may persist in some body fluids, including semen. Ebola survivors need comprehensive support for the medical and psychosocial challenges they face and also to minimize the risk of continued Ebola virus transmission. WHO has developed this document to guide health services on how to provide quality care to survivors of Ebola virus disease.

WHO/R. Sorensen

WHO Director-General updates Executive Board on West Africa Ebola outbreak

25 January 2016 -- In her address, Dr Margaret Chan expresses confidence that no one will let the Ebola virus take off and run away again, noting that Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone now contain the world’s largest pool of Ebola experts. She stressed that further flare-ups will occur, but that they will also be contained. She also said recovery, including care for over 10,000 survivors, will take time.

Zabulon Yoti, Bruce Aykward from WHO and other technical staff in Port Loko, Sierra Leone, during the Ebola outbreak

Ebola: Then and Now

20 January 2016 -- WHO is supporting the governments of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to make sure they have strong surveillance systems, rapid response capacity and effective survivor care and screening in place to detect and respond to new cases. Read more about the different aspects of the Ebola response.

WHO/S. Gborie
Ebola survivors and their families should have access to the support they need to re-establish their livelihoods.

Caring for Ebola survivors

8 January 2016 -- Clinicians, scientists, epidemiologists, and other public health practitioners met in Sierra Leone to share their expertise and experience in order to advance networks and access to clinical care for Ebola survivors. Read this meeting report to find out about the review of literature on health and psychosocial problems of survivors; mapping of survivor care providers and cohorts; Ebola virus persistence in body fluids after recovery and risk of sexual transmission.

WHO/S. Gborie
2 Liberian children, during the Ebola outbreak 2014.

Rebuilding health systems in the aftermath of an outbreak

4 January 2016 -- Recovering from Ebola requires getting essential health services back up and running in a safe and reliable way, and addressing the weaknesses of the system. WHO is supporting Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone on the road to recovery.

WHO/C. Banluta
Ebola contact tracing, Liberia

Robust surveillance needed to detect re-emergence of Ebola

2 December 2015 -- A cluster of three confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Liberia underscore the importance of robust surveillance measures to ensure the rapid detection of any reintroduction or re-emergence of EVD in currently unaffected areas. The first-reported case was a 15-year-old boy who tested positive for EVD on 19 November. Two other members of the family – the boy’s 8-year old brother and his 40-year-old father – subsequently tested positive.

WHO/A. Bhatiasevi

fact buffet

Situation report

28,639Worldwide, there have been 28,639 cases of Ebola virus disease and 11,316 deaths at 31 January.

For more: Ebola Situation Report of 3 February


4,000WHO deployed about 4,000 technical experts on the ground in 70 field sites.

For more: Ebola dashboard of achievements

Phase 3

3 objectivesTo interrupt all remaining chains of Ebola transmission. To respond to the consequences of residual risks. To work on health systems recovery.

For more: Read the report on Phase 3

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Research and development

Guinea Ebola vaccine trials, lab, 2015
WHO/S. Hawkey

WHO has convened a broad global coalition of experts to develop the blueprint and a platform for accelerated research and development. The blueprint will be presented to Member States at the next World Health Assembly in May 2016.