Outbreaks and emergencies

Microcephaly/Zika virus

Zika virus infection is caused by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito, usually causing mild fever, rash, conjunctivitis, and muscle pain.

The virus was isolated for the first time in 1947 in the Zika forest in Uganda and subsequently isolated from humans in Nigeria in 1968. It is known to have circulated in Asia since the 1960s. In 2007, a major epidemic was reported on the island of Yap State (Federated States of Micronesia), the first notification under the revised IHR (2005).

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)

The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a strain of coronavirus that causes a viral respiratory illness called MERS. The disease was first reported in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in September 2012. To date, several countries have reported MERS-CoV infections, including China, Malaysia, the Philippines and the Republic of Korea from the Western Pacific Region. It is possible that further healthcare associated clusters could occur in the Western Pacific Region following an imported case returning from the Middle East, as is currently being observed in the Republic of Korea.

Cyclone Pam March 2015

AFP Photo/NZ Red Cross IFRC/Hanna Butler

WHO is coordinating response efforts with Vanuatu's Ministry of Health and other humanitarian partners to bring much-needed health support to the Pacific island country, following the devastation caused by Cyclone Pam. The cyclone ravaged Vanuatu on 13–14 March with winds of more than 250 kilometres/hour.

Ebola virus disease (EVD)

WHO

Ebola virus disease (formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever) is a severe, often fatal illness, with a case fatality rate of up to 90%. It is one of the world’s most virulent diseases.The infection is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected animals or people. Severely ill patients require intensive supportive care. During an outbreak, those at higher risk of infection are health workers, family members and others in close contact with sick people and deceased patients.

Situation updates

Fact sheet

Contact us

World Health Organization
Western Pacific Regional Office
P.O. Box 2932
1000 Manila
Philippines
Email: outbreak@wpro.who.int