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DEC statement on the Ebola outbreak

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The DEC statement on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa

The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the deadliest ever seen. To date 7,178 people have been reported as likely to have been infected and 3,338 people have died (UN 02.10.14). Widespread and intense transmission is taking place in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. The number of cases is doubling roughly every three weeks.

Although there have been reported drops in the number of new infections in some of the worst affected areas in recent weeks, this is likely to be a result of under-reporting rather than a real decrease in the spread of the disease.

Health services in the worst effected countries were always very weak and have now broken down entirely. Many people are also therefore dying of entirely preventable causes such as malaria and complications in childbirth.

Despite the commitment to use US military resources to open further isolation and treatment centres, there continues to be a serious lack of capacity to treat and isolate the large number of people infected or at risk of having been infected.

DEC member agencies are heavily involved in the response. Those with the relevant specialist medical expertise, notable the Red Cross and Save the Children, have set up or are seeking to establish Ebola isolation and treatment centres.

Other DEC member agencies are providing support to organisations that are involved in the medical response, supporting social mobilisation and community engagement to help contain the spread of Ebola, and providing other services to communities badly affected by the crisis.

The DEC will continue to closely monitor the situation in consultation with our member agencies and to review developments against the DEC Appeal criteria.

The DEC member agencies appealing for support for their response to the crisis include: