Between 12 and 13 August 2014, a total of 152 new cases of Ebola virus disease (laboratory-confirmed, probable, and suspect cases) as well as 76 deaths were reported from Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

Ebola virus/CDC
Ebola virus/CDC

This brings the total cases and deaths due to EVD to 2,127 and 1,145, respectively.

On 8 August, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) evolving in West Africa a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

On 11 August, a WHO panel reached consensus ”that it is ethical to offer unproven interventions with as yet unknown efficacy and adverse effects, as potential treatment or prevention”.

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On 14 August 2014, WHO issued a statement that “Staff at the outbreak sites see evidence that the numbers of reported cases and deaths vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak.”

Yesterday, WHO also reiterated its position that the risk of transmission of Ebola virus disease during air travel remains low.

“Unlike infections such as influenza or tuberculosis, Ebola is not airborne,” says Dr Isabelle Nuttall, Director of WHO Global Capacity Alert and Response. “It can only be transmitted by direct contact with the body fluids of a person who is sick with the disease.”

On the small chance that someone on the plane is sick with Ebola, the likelihood of other passengers and crew having contact with their body fluids is even smaller. Usually when someone is sick with Ebola, they are so unwell that they cannot travel. WHO is therefore advising against travel bans to and from affected countries.

“Because the risk of Ebola transmission on airplanes is so low, WHO does not consider air transport hubs at high risk for further spread of Ebola,” says Dr Nuttall. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page