Ebola Outbreak in Congo Is Not Yet a Global Emergency, WHO Says

World health leaders met on Friday to discuss the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and concluded that for the time being, while the outbreak is serious, it is not a public health emergency of international concern.

The director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, convened the meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee in Geneva. Tedros, as he prefers to be called, previously visited an affected area of the country and said he’s impressed by the local response. “We were encouraged by what we have seen despite the challenge,” he told reporters on Friday. “There’s strong coordination between government and other partners.”

Dr. Robert Steffen, chairman of WHO’s emergency committee, announced the WHO’s decision. “It was the view of the committee that the conditions for a public health emergency of international concern have not been met,” he told reporters.

So far, 14 cases in DRC have been confirmed by laboratory testing, according to the WHO. While most of the cases were in remote areas, one of the people tested positive in Mbandaka, a densely populated city of nearly 1.2 million. There are also 21 other probable cases and 10 suspected cases. Three health workers are among the reported cases. The WHO has requested $26 million to aid in the response.

Ebola is a virus that spreads through direct contact with the bodily fluids of someone who is infected with the virus or has died from it. It can also spread from from the bodily fluids of animals to humans. There’s currently no cure, but there is an experimental vaccine.

MORE: How Ebola Got So Deadly

The locations of the current outbreak are particularly concerning. In the urban area of Mbandaka, the risk of transmission is high. The WHO and other …read more

Source:: Time – World


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