Ebola Resurges in Congo, WHO Convenes Emergency Committee

Alicia Farmer
October 18, 2018

The World Health Organization will hold an emergency committee meeting October 17 in Geneva to discuss whether the Democratic Republic of Congo's Ebola outbreak represents an worldwide public health emergency.

The crisis meeting would decide whether or not the outbreak constituted a public health emergency of worldwide concern, and what recommendations should be made to manage the spread of the disease.

The Committee's opinions and suggestions would be made public on the World Health Organization website and at a press briefing on the same day.

Twenty-four suspected cases are still under investigation.On Saturday, the DRC health ministry confirmed two cases in Beni, and yesterday recorded two more cases in Beni, and one each in Masereka and Butembo.

In recent weeks, the rate of new Ebola cases has more than doubled after rebel violence in northeastern DRC caused response efforts to be briefly suspended, health officials said earlier this week. The latest epidemiological status update on the Ebola Virus Disease as of October the 13th, 2018, shows that a cumulative 211 cases of hemorrhagic fever have been identified in the area, including 176 cases confirmed and 35 probable.

Based on the current situation and information available, the WHO Director-General has convened an Emergency Committee under the IHR (2005) to provide advice on whether the current outbreak constitutes a public health emergency of global concern, and what recommendations should be made to manage the outbreak.

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"We are busy trying to fight the deadly Ebola virus but we are now facing resistance from residents in Beni".

Ebola spreads through contact with the bodily fluids of its victims.

According to the DRC Ministry of Health, 73 patients have been treated with the experimental therapies mAb 114, Remdesivir, Zmapp or Regeneron in this outbreak. A total of 32 of these patients have recovered and 20 remain now hospitalized.

The Ebola virus which is transmitted by bats.

It added that it was also increasing the risk of the outbreak spreading within DRC, and to neighbouring countries, especially Rwanda and Uganda.

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