Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, during a press conference on updates on WHO Ebola Opreations in the DRC, Democratic Republic of Congo.
Photos: Action Press/P-M. Virot
Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans.
The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.
The average EVD case fatality rate is around 50%. Case fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks.
The first EVD outbreaks occurred in remote villages in Central Africa, near tropical rainforests. The 2014–2016 outbreak in West Africa involved major urban areas as well as rural ones.
Community engagement is key to successfully controlling outbreaks. Good outbreak control relies on applying a package of interventions, namely case management, infection prevention and control practices, surveillance and contact tracing, a good laboratory service, safe and dignified burials and social mobilisation.
Early supportive care with rehydration, symptomatic treatment improves survival. There is as yet no licensed treatment proven to neutralize the virus but a range of blood, immunological and drug therapies are under developmen