WHO’s director general Dr. Margaret Chan said the current outbreak is the “most severe and most complex” in the nearly four decades of the history of the disease.
Dr. Chan stated that the committee’s decision to declare the international state of emergency was “unanimous”.
She added that the declaration “alerts the world to the need for high vigilance of possible cases of Ebola, however she did acknowledge that many countries would not be affected by the virus.
Dr. Chan said the announcement was a “clear call for international solidarity” over the outbreak, which is the largest and longest in history.
The outbreak has killed more than 930 people in West Africa, and is thought to have infected around 1,700.
There is no licensed treatment or vaccine for Ebola and the current death rate has reportedly been around 50 per cent.
There have been no reported cases of the Caribbean so far.