Ebola is a highly contagious viral disease with an incubation period of up to 21 days. The disease is transmitted via body fluids such as blood, sweat, saliva or tears. Those caring for sufferers are therefore susceptible to the Ebola virus, which can spread to health staff and family members.

There is no specific treatment for Ebola, which means there is no drug to kill the Ebola virus. However, people can be given pain relief, fluids to keep them comfortable, treatment for secondary infections, and can also receive visits from relatives to keep their spirits up. These measures have been shown to help patients fight the infection.

Help our nurses, doctors, epidemiologists and logisticians prevent the spread of Ebola and other diseases by making your donation today.
Médecins Sans Frontières staff work through the night at an Ebola isolation unit in Guinea.

Emergency response in West Africa

Médecins Sans Frontières is asking the Australian Government to evaluate their emergency medical and logistics capacity and deploy specialised personnel to assist in containing the epidemic. The Ebola outbreak that first occurred in Guinea in March this year has claimed thousands of lives.

“We welcome the ambition of the new US Ebola response plan, which is the first serious large scale international ambition to address the disaster unfolding in West Africa. This latest pledge must be matched by action from other countries, including Australia.” - Paul McPhun, Executive Director Médecins Sans Frontières Australia.
The Ebola virus has spread from Guinea to Sierra Leone and Liberia in west Africa.
All healthcare workers must wear full protective gear before crossing into the patient area in the isolation unit. A mirror next to the entrance reminds them to check their protective gear for any holes or openings. This could mean the difference between life and death. Monrovia, Liberia. ©Morgana Wingard
"Currently we have a 120 bed treatment centre - the largest ever - and I'm training 60 staff a day to build capacity for the planned 400 bed treatment centre, it wasn't that long ago that there were only 6 of us here." - Brett Adamson, Médecins Sans Frontières project coordinator, Liberia.
The city of Guéckédou in Guinea is home to 350,000 inhabitants.
Hygienist Jerome Guillaumot is sprayed clean with a chlorine solution as he undresses in the Ebola management centre in Foya, Liberia. ©Martin Zinggl

Help our doctors to reach more patients by making your donation today.

The Ebola virus under the microscope

The Ebola virus first appeared in 1976 in outbreaks in Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo. The case fatality rate for Ebola can be as high as 90 per cent.