The World Health Organization was notified on May 25, 2014 of an Ebola virus disease outbreak in Sierra Leone. Preliminary information received from the field indicates that one laboratory confirmed case and five community deaths have been reported from Koindu chiefdom. This chiefdom shares border with the current Ebola virus disease hotspot Guéckédou in Guinea. The laboratory analysis of the case was done at the VHF laboratory in Kenema, Sierra Leone .
While waiting for additional epidemiological information, the following measures have been initiated by national authorities with support from WHO: meeting of the national emergency Ebola task force to discuss the current situation and proposed preventive and response to be implemented immediately; deployment of a team to the field to conduct epidemiological investigations and initiated preliminary response measures and development of funding proposals based on the existing national Ebola virus disease preparedness and response plan.
WHO held a three level coordination meeting to review the current situation, carry-out risk assessment based on available data and information and measures to be taken to control the outbreak. These include among others:
- immediate deployment of six international experts in the areas of coordination, epidemiology, social mobilization, case management/infection prevention and control, data management and logistics;
- provision of catalytic funds by WHO to support initial investigation and response activities;
- development of proposals to access the African Public Health Emergency Fund (funding mechanism established by all the Ministers of Health in the WHO African Region ) and other funding sources and
- deployment of essential supplies and reagents.
WHO does not recommend that any travel or trade restrictions be applied to Sierra Leone based on the current information available for this event.