During the past weeks, a WHO team of emergency experts worked together with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and members of her government to assess the Ebola situation in Liberia.
Transmission of the Ebola virus in Liberia is already intense and the number of new cases is increasing exponentially.
In Cameroon, 2 new wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) cases were reported from the East Region, with onset of paralysis on 26 June 2014 and 9 July 2014. Genetic sequencing of these latest isolated viruses confirms continued wild poliovirus circulation, gaps in surveillance resulting in undetected transmission and geographic expansion to new areas of the country.
The outbreak in Cameroon has been ongoing since at least October 2013. The outbreak continued into 2014, with international spread to Equatorial Guinea. In March 2014, WHO elevated the risk assessment of international spread of polio from Cameroon to very high, due to expanding circulation and influx of vulnerable refugee populations from Central African Republic (CAR). This risk assessment remains in place. Further undetected circulation in Cameroon cannot be ruled out. Moreover, the risk of virus spreading into CAR is considered to be particularly high given the large-scale population movements from CAR into Cameroon.
After 2 days of discussion on potential Ebola therapies and vaccines, more than 150 participants, representing the fields of research and clinical investigation, ethics, legal, regulatory, financing, and data collection, identified several therapeutic and vaccine interventions that should be the focus of priority clinical evaluation at this time.
Currently, none of these vaccines or therapies have been approved for human use to prevent or treat EVD. A number of candidate vaccines and therapies have been developed and tested in animal models and some have demonstrated promising results. In view of the urgency of these outbreaks, the international community is mobilizing to find ways to accelerate the evaluation and use of these compounds.
More than 800 000 people die by suicide every year – around one person every 40 seconds, according to WHO's first global report on suicide prevention, published today. Some 75% of suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries.
Pesticide poisoning, hanging and firearms are among the most common methods of suicide globally. Evidence from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the United States and a number of European countries reveals that limiting access to these means can help prevent people dying by suicide. Another key to reducing deaths by suicide is a commitment by national governments to the establishment and implementation of a coordinated plan of action. Currently, only 28 countries are known to have national suicide prevention strategies.
On 2 September 2014, the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China notified WHO of 2 additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus.
Details of the cases are as follows:
WHO has committed to provide regular situation reports that include detailed epidemiological information and analysis, as well as regular monitoring of the national and international response to the outbreak against the Ebola response roadmap.
Recognizing the demand for updated numbers from this outbreak, the following information is being released in advance of the second update of this situation report.
The United Nations’ senior leadership on Ebola today said they could stop the Ebola outbreak in west Africa in 6 to 9 months, but only if a “massive” global response is implemented.
In a Washington, D.C. news conference, Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO, said the Ebola outbreak is “the largest, most complex and most severe we’ve ever seen” and is racing ahead of control efforts. Implementing the new WHO roadmap to coordinate and scale up international response will help the affected countries stop ongoing transmission, she said.
The Minister of Health of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, has now reported 3 confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease in Port Harcourt, the country’s oil hub. Additional suspected cases are being investigated.
Ebola virus was imported into Nigeria via an infected air traveller, who entered Lagos on 20 July and died 5 days later. One close contact of the Lagos case fled the city, where he was under quarantine, to seek treatment in Port Harcourt.
Results from virus sequencing of samples from the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) were received last night. The virus is the Zaire strain, in a lineage most closely related to a virus from the 1995 Ebola outbreak in Kikwit, DRC.
The Zaire strain of the virus is indigenous in the country. Ebola first emerged in 1976 in almost simultaneous outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of Congo (then Zaire) and South Sudan (then Sudan).
On 30 August 2014, Senegal’s Ministry of Public Health and Social Affairs provided WHO with details about a case of Ebola virus disease (EVD) announced in that country on 29 August.
WHO has also received details of the emergency investigation immediately launched by the Government. Testing and confirmation of Ebola were undertaken by a laboratory at the Institut Pasteur in Dakar.