Outbreaks and emergencies

Ebola virus disease (EVD)

WHO/J Rivaca-Caminade

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.

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 Saudi Arabia in September 2012. To date, several countries have reported MERS-CoV infections, including Malaysia and the Philippines from the Western Pacific Region. It is possible that further sporadic cases will occur in the Western Pacific Region among people returning from the Arabian Peninsula.

Solomon Islands flash floods, April 2014

WHO/S Chapman

Heavy rains poured over Solomon Islands on 3-5 April 2014, and resulted to massive flooding in the capital city of Honiara and the rest of the Guadalcanal province. The disaster has left 23 people dead and thousands more affected with the loss of homes, livelihoods and basic infrastructures. The Government declared a state of emergency in Honiara and the rest of Guadalcanal province.

Health services delivery in affected areas are hampered. Health priorities include access to safe water and sanitation facilities, nutrition and food safety, maternal and child health services, mental health and psychosocial support, preventing the spread of communicable diseases as well as environmental sanitation.

WHO responds to health needs of communities affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines

WHO/F. Guerrero

Super typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) hit the Philippines on 8 November 2013. Storm surges caused widespread flooding in coastal areas and brought damages to 41 provinces in many Regions in Central Philippines. The severely affected areas are Tacloban City, Leyte, and Northern Iloilo.

Many people living in these affected areas were injured and the devastating effects of this typhoon left already vulnerable health facilities damaged or completely destroyed. As a result, health services in the worst affected areas no longer exist or are severely stretched, with medical supplies in very short supply.

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