Ebola latest news has come. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
The outbreak in DR Congo has affected more than 2,500 people. 1,600 people have died so far.
Do note that, the PHEIC emergency provision is the highest level of alarm the WHO can sound. It has been used only four times previously.
Ebola latest news: Deadly Ebola outbreak in Congo raises concerns
The alarm was sounded after 2 people who had recently crossed the Congo border and returned, came down with Ebola and died.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO, said during a press conference on 17 July 2019 that, "These two events represent a concerning geographical expansion of the virus."
"It is time for the world to take notice."
About 12 new cases are being reported every day.
Dr. Tedros however clarified, "Our risk assessment remains that the risk of spread (of Ebola) in DRC and the region is very high, and the risk of spread outside the region is low."
"I emphasize that WHO does not recommend any restrictions on travel or trade, which rather than stopping Ebola, can actually hamper the fight."
- to constitute a public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease, and
- to potentially require a coordinated international response”. This definition implies a situation that: is serious, unusual or unexpected; carries implications for public health beyond the affected State’s national border, and may require immediate international action.
Some facts about Ebola virus disease (EVD)
- Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a rare but severe, often fatal illness in humans.
- The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.
- The average EVD case fatality rate is around 50%. Case fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks.
- Early supportive care with rehydration, symptomatic treatment improves survival.
- Community engagement is key to successfully controlling outbreaks.
- Good outbreak control relies on infection prevention and control practices, surveillance and contact tracing, a good laboratory service, safe and dignified burials and social mobilisation.
- Vaccines to protect against Ebola are under development and have been used to help control the spread of Ebola outbreaks in Guinea and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
To know more about Ebola, the signs and symptoms of this disease, and treatment options, click here.