Global Alert and Response (GAR)

When Ebola came calling: how communities in Sierra Leone faced the challenge

Ibrahim Suri Kamara helps one of his daughters, sick with Ebola, to a drink, Port Loko, Sierra Leoone, 2014.
WHO/C. Black

20 November 2014 -- When Ebola first swept through Port Loko District, the rash of sudden inexplicable deaths was so shocking that local people explained it as "a witch plane crash". But as husbands, wives, aunts, uncles and children began to sicken and die they realized this was not a supernatural event but something very human - that would take human actions to reverse. WHO began racing to set up community care centres. The first of these centres opened on 3 November. Here in pictures is the story of what they did.

Ebola: identifying the cause of death

An oral swab sample from a corps suspected to have died from the Ebola virus disease is being put into a safe container for further transport to a laboratory, Monrovia, Liberia, 2014.
WHO/P. Desloovere

17 November 2014 -- Dead bodies can be very contagious when it comes to Ebola, but that does not mean that every deceased person has died due to the disease. In order to speed up the process of identifying the cause of death of each patient, WHO is working closely with the Liberia Institute for Biomedical Research to train burial teams on how to collect an oral swab from deceased patients safely.

Ebola outbreak: features map

10 November 2014 -- On 23 March 2014 WHO’s African Regional Office reported an outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Guinea. Since then cases have been reported in 5 additional West African countries. This interactive timeline links to feature stories highlighting, key events, stories and further reading (from 23 March - 3 November 2014).

Ebola response roadmap

WHO has issued a roadmap to guide and coordinate the international response to the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease in west Africa. The roadmap aims to stop ongoing Ebola transmission worldwide within 6-9 months while rapidly managing the consequences of any further international spread. It also recognises the need to address, in parallel, the outbreak’s broader socioeconomic impact.

Ebola news and top stories