Uganda, at 'big risk' for Ebola, says Congo is managing well

Henrietta Strickland
October 20, 2018

Robert Steffen, Chair of the Emergency Committee, also voiced "some optimism" that the outbreak would be brought under control within a "reasonable time".

The WHO has assessed the national and regional risk of the current Ebola outbreak in DRC as "very high", although the global risk remains low and, so far, the UN's health watchdog has not called for any trade or travel restrictions to be imposed, the WHO said in a press release.

Uganda has had multiple Ebola outbreaks since 2000.

"We will not rest until the outbreak is finished", he said, voicing hope that the robust response already in place could halt the spread of the virus "within this year".

However, the committee remained deeply concerned by the outbreak and emphasized that response activities need to be intensified and ongoing vigilance is critical.

A Congolese health worker checks the temperature of a woman before the launch of vaccination campaign against the deadly Ebola virus near Mangina village, near the town of Beni, in North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, August 8, 2018.

To date, there have been 220 Ebola cases reported in the DRC outbreak, including 142 deaths, the DRC said in an update today. Most of the newly confirmed cases have been in Beni, where there has sometimes been violent resistance to outbreak responders. The case-fatality rate stands at 65% overall, and at 58% among confirmed cases.

Salama also said that the decision about whether or not to declare a PHEIC was part of "a process", and not just a "one-off decision".

Gostin said this outbreak "is the first time the World Health Organization has formally asked the United Nations Security Council to address the worsening security situation in a major outbreak".

During a question-and-answer session with journalists, WHO leaders defended the United States's decision to pull workers from its Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from the area over security issues, saying it was up to each country to determine security risks for their health workers. Klain served as the US Ebola response coordinator in late 2014 into early 2015. "We still have more than 250 people working in DRC to end this outbreak", Tedros tweeted. The agency has estimated that more than 1 million refugees and internally displaced people are in North Kivu and Ituri, and their movement through and out of the provinces is a potential risk factor for the spread of Ebola.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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