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Ebola Outbreak in Africa

Overview


As the deadliest outbreak of Ebola in recorded history continues to devastate Western Africa, the American Red Cross is supporting the ongoing relief efforts of the global Red Cross network with both financial and technical support.
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Ebola in the United States
On September 30th, the CDC confirmed the first Ebola case in the United States. For information please visit CDC.gov.
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“Our volunteers are critical in the epidemic control chain through their unique access to communicates, cultural knowledge and capacity to foster social mobilization and behavioral change. - Elhadj As Sy, IFRC Security General”

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The Red Cross national societies in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea are leading disease prevention education and awareness efforts, providing psychosocial support and assisting in the management of dead bodies.

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The Ebola outbreak in Western Africa is the deadliest in recorded history. The death toll will soon surpass 3,000 and has been declared a public health emergency by the World Health Organization.

Videos from the Field


Rising to the challenge requires immediate response and preventive measures that are massive and coordinated at country level with effective support at regional and international levels.

We ask for an exceptional response to this exceptional situation. We – together – must match our response to the gravity of the epidemic in affected countries, and to expand preventive measures and preparedness in neighboring countries. We need more people, more funds, more resources. And we need them now.

Volunteers of the Liberia Red Cross Society have been working tirelessly since the beginning of the outbreak.

Red Cross teams are working to break the chain of transmission in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the three countries with sustained and widespread transmission of the virus.

The bodies of Ebola victims are highly infectious, and funeral preparations and ceremonies have been a significant source of infection. Specially trained Red Cross volunteer teams working in affected communities have safely buried more than 1,300 bodies.

Volunteer teams have traced and monitored nearly 20,000 people who have been in contact with an Ebola patient, monitoring them for three weeks to ensure any resulting cases are quickly identified, isolated and treated. Red Cross volunteer teams have also disinfected more than 16,000 homes to kill the virus and prevent infection in places where Ebola patients have lived or visited.

Red Cross teams are going door-to-door and working with elders and community and religious leaders to educate families about the importance of seeking early treatment, and teaching them about how the virus is spread. Red Cross social mobilization efforts have reached more than 1.1 million people with accurate information about the disease.

The Government of Guinea declared an Ebola outbreak on 21 March 2014. This is the first time the Ebola virus has surfaced in Guinea. People fell sick and started dying. With support from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the Red Cross Society of Guinea put mitigation measures in place to prevent its spread. The Red Cross volunteers are also involved in the disinfection of home and health facilities infected by the virus, the removal of dead bodies, and the monitoring of people who may have come into contact with infected persons. Though the transmission rate has slowed in Guinea it is the disease is still rapidly spreading in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Thousands of Red Cross volunteers continue with their tireless work to bring the spread of this deadly disease under control.

Map and Infographic


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Total Ebola Cases

View map to see the locations of West Africa Ebola outbreaks

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Infographic
The Cost of Ebola Treatment

View the infographic on Clinical Case Management: The cost of Ebola treatment

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News and Updates