Ebola outbreak in DR Congo declared a global health emergency

Henrietta Strickland
July 18, 2019

The fisherwoman travelled across the border to Mpondwe market on July 11, according to a Ugandan Health Ministry report published on Wednesday by the WHO.

A woman and her children wait to receive Ebola vaccinations, in the village of Mabalako, in eastern Congo.

The ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo now constitutes a public health emergency of worldwide concern, the World Health Organization announced on Wednesday.

Ebola is highly infectious and spread through bodily fluids.

More than 1600 people have died since August in the second deadliest Ebola outbreak in history, which is unfolding in a region described as a war zone.

The health response to the virus relies on tracking down and testing people who may have been exposed to it and vaccinating them and anybody they have had contact with.

The WHO report said 19 other fishmongers were listed as possible contacts in the Uganda incident.

Speaking to the Telegraph before the World Health Organization committee met, he said a declaration of an global emergency would bring more much needed resources to the front line.

News of the incident came as the WHO's emergency committee of worldwide experts met for a fourth time to decide if the 11-month outbreak constitutes a "public health emergency of global concern" (PHEIC).

Last month the committee decided the potential disruption of declaring one risked causing economic harm while achieving nothing.

"It is time for the world to take notice", WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement, as he accepted the advice of his advisory board to invoke emergency provisions only used by the United Nations health agency four times previously.

The UN agency also said no country should close its borders or place any restrictions on travel or trade because of Ebola. Two deaths in Arua were under investigation.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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