UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The World Health Organization (WHO) has extended for another three months the international emergency regime in force since last July for the outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This was announced on Wednesday at a briefing in Geneva by WHO Director-General Tedros Adan Gebreyesus following a meeting of the emergency committee.
“According to the committee’s recommendation, the Ebola outbreak in the DRC should remain an emergency of international concern. I agreed with this advice,” said the head of WHO. He emphasized that in the east of the DRC, the incidence of Ebola has decreased, but “the potential for a much wider epidemic remains”.
According to the CEO, the risk of spreading the disease in the DRC and in the neighboring region remains high, and the risk of spreading in the world is low. He drew attention to the success in the fight against a dangerous ailment. “I hope that by the next convocation of the emergency committee we will be able to announce the completion of this outbreak,” the head of the organization said. According to WHO rules, the emergency committee meets once every three months.
Tedros Adan Gebreyesus announced that he would go to the DRC on Thursday to discuss the fight against Ebola with the authorities of this country. He called for strengthening the health system in preparation for a new possible Ebola outbreak. We need to “act now to prevent the next outbreak,” the head of WHO summarized.
As of February 9, 3431 cases of the disease caused by the Ebola virus (BVE) were registered in the DRC, 2249 people died, 1164 recovered. During the week from January 29 to February 4, four confirmed cases of the disease were reported. This is one case less than a week earlier and more than 30 times less than during the peak of the epidemic in April 2019. Never before during the current Ebola outbreak, which began in July-August 2018, was the incidence rate so low.
Ebola is transmitted from wild animals and then spreads among people. The first symptoms of the disease are fever, muscle pain, headache, and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, impaired renal and hepatic function, and in some cases, internal and external bleeding. On July 17, 2019, WHO declared the outbreak of BVE in the DRC a public health emergency of international concern.
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