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WHO considering global health emergency over DRC Ebola outbreak

“WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has convened ‘an emergency committee’ on the current outbreak in DRC’s violence-torn North Kivu region, which has killed 135 people since August, the UN health agency said in a statement. ‘The committee will meet on October 17 in Geneva to ascertain whether the outbreak constitutes a public health emergency of international concern,’ the statement said. In the WHO’s parlance, ‘a public health emergency of international concern’ is an ‘extraordinary event’ in which a disease may spread across borders and requires a vigorous international response. The agency first invoked the emergency mechanism in 2009 when a new strain of influenza, so-called H1N1 swine flu, emerged. It was also declared twice in 2014, when polio re-emerged after the disease was nearly eradicated, and after an Ebola epidemic struck three West African countries. Then in 2016, a global emergency was declared in response to an outbreak of the Zika virus. Monday’s announcement came after DRC Health Minister Oly Ilunga warned over the weekend that a second wave of the Ebola virus had been confirmed in the outbreak in North Kivu, which is home to a clutch of armed groups. He said the second wave occurred as a result of community resistance to measures taken to tackle the disease, describing the outbreak as ‘high risk.'”

Source: WHO considering global health emergency over DRC Ebola outbreak

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