MMWR: Ebola Epidemic — Liberia, March–October 2014
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Posted by: Pat Podolak
On March 21, 2014, the Guinea Ministry of Health reported the outbreak of an illness characterized by fever, severe diarrhea, vomiting and a high fatality rate (59%) (1), leading to the first known epidemic of Ebola virus disease (Ebola) in West Africa and the largest and longest Ebola epidemic in history. As of November 2, Liberia had reported the largest number of cases (6,525) and deaths (2,697) among the three affected countries of West Africa with ongoing transmission (Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone) (2). The response strategy in Liberia has included management of the epidemic through an incident management system (IMS) in which the activities of all partners are coordinated (3). Within the IMS, key strategies for epidemic control include surveillance, case investigation, laboratory confirmation, contact tracing, safe transportation of persons with suspected Ebola, isolation, infection control within the health care system, community engagement, and safe burial. This report provides a brief overview of the progression of the epidemic in Liberia and summarizes the interventions implemented.