“The declaration of a public health emergency of international concern alerts the world to the need for high vigilance for possible cases of Ebola virus disease, but by no means implies that all countries or even many countries will see Ebola cases. Only a small part of the African continent is currently affected,” she said.
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the largest and worst in history. Latest WHO figures put the number of cases at more than 1,700, including 932 deaths. The disease has spread to Nigeria, where two people have died, and possibly to Saudi Arabia, where one person suspected of having the disease has died. Two U.S. aid workers infected in Liberia are being treated in the United States.
WHO notes it is particularly difficult to bring the disease under control because the three heavily infected West African countries are all emerging from civil conflicts that have left them with weak, fragile health systems.