Ebola outbreak risks worldwide spread but isn’t formal emergency says WHO

18 Juin, 2019, 03:24 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Health workers take part in the funeral of Kahumbu Ngalyakuthi who got infected after sharing a hospital room with a patient infected with Ebola in DRC

The World Health Organization (WHO) should and is likely to declare an worldwide emergency over the Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo that has now spread to Uganda, experts said as a WHO advisory panel met on Friday.

So far, the virus has killed more than 1,400 people since the outbreak began in August, making it the second-deadliest in history.

The WHO panel, officially known as the International Health Regulations and Emergency Committee, has met twice already on the current DRC outbreak. As well, the existing cross-border screening from DRC for Ebola should be improved, and there's a call for the worldwide community to contribute critical funds needed to deal with the outbreak.

GENEVA/KINSHASA/KAMPALA -Health ministry and WHO have now drawn up a list of 98 contacts, or contacts of contacts, potentially exposed to the Ebola virus, of whom 10 are considered "high risk", said Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO's emergencies programme.

The woman was the grandmother of a five-year-old boy who died on Tuesday evening after crossing into Uganda with his family from the Democratic Republic of Congo. "He understands depth of crisis", Lawrence Gostin, professor of global health law at Georgetown University Law School in Washington, DC, who is not on the panel, said in a tweet.

AHF encourages you to experience the sobering truth behind the 2014 Ebola outbreak in this short documentary and see the devastation that occurs when outbreak preparedness is not a top global health priority. Uganda, which has fought five previous Ebola outbreaks, has vaccinated almost 5,000 health and front-line workers at about 165 health facilities located near the border; it has also built nine Ebola treatment centers near its western border. And a third case has been confirmed, according to Uganda's Ministry of Health.

Health officials are still anxious about persistent delays in detecting cases and the many Ebola deaths in the community, which raise the risk virus spread.

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Researcher Emma Glennon modeled the size of likely distributions using available datasets on Ebola outbreaks from three countries in West Africa.

Ebola spreads among humans through close contact with the blood, body fluids, secretions or organs of an infected person.

Nine more people died from their Ebola infections, two in community settings and seven in Ebola treatment centers.

Uganda has faced multiple Ebola outbreaks and is a regional leader in battling Ebola, even if this part of the country has never experienced an outbreak. However it the virus was now entrenched in rural areas including Mabalako, he said. Nearly 4,000 health workers have received vaccination, and screening camps are operating all along the border with DRC, and other major portals.

World Health Organization said $54 million is needed.

World Health Organization officials said today that Merck, which makes the VSV-EBOV vaccine, recently announced plans to begin producing the vaccine at its facility in West Point, Pennsylvania, in addition to its facility in Germany.


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