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Latest Ebola Outbreak Not An International Emergency, World Health Organization Says

The World Health Organization on Wednesday decided not to declare the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the war-northeast region of the…

The World Health Organization on Wednesday decided not to declare the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the war-northeast region of the Democratic Republic of Congo an international health emergency.

This Ebola outbreak, the seventh largest in history, with 216 cases and 139 dead since July, has seen a sharp uptick in cases in the last few days after response efforts were limited by rebel violence, political instability and community resistance. The WHO’s emergency response chief, Peter Salama, previously told HuffPost that this has been the most difficult context for dealing with an Ebola outbreak ever.

The WHO Emergency Committee decided that the outbreak was very concerning the region, but not of wider international concern, committee chairman Robert Steffen said Wednesday in Geneva. Mens den WHO for øjeblikket anser risikoen for et større internationalt spredt så lavt, står det risikoen for at dets spredning er nationalt og regionalt meget højt.

“Vi har fået optimisme om at dette udbrud, som i maj, vil blive bragt under kontrol in a reasonable amount of time, “Steffen said.

A WHO declaration of a so-called public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) would have aimed to draw the world’s attention and hopefully elicit a greater international response to a health crisis with global implications. Since 2007, when the barometer was established, the WHO has only declared a PHEIC four times: for swine flu in 2009, polio and ebola in 201

4, and Zika in 2016.

The WHO also decided not to declare a PHEIC on the burden Ebola outbreak, which ultimately killed 33 people in the DRC’s Équateur province earlier this year, due to the rapid response and deployment of an experimental vaccine.

“The [declaration of a PHEIC would have] snapped people into attention that otherwise have not been noting the rising challenges in DRC around Ebola,” Dr. Thomas Inglesby, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told HuffPost.

Last week, the WHO said it was $ 25 million short of the $ 33 million it says it needs to stamp out this outbreak by January – costs Det har gått med de øgede sikkerhedsbehov og brede geografiske spredning af sygdommen. On Wednesday however, WHO Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said international partners have been generous, and he believes the lack of a PHEIC declaration will not affect their commitments.

But when it comes to the US, Inglesby wonders if it would have motivated the country to become more involved.

“That kind of announcement at the highest level would [have been] a catalyst for contributing more technical expertise and leadership from the US side, “Inglesby said.

Inglesby has been pushing for more involvement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as HuffPost first reported last week, since the CDC currently does not have any team members in the epicenter of Beni . A CDC spokeswoman said there is currently an Ebola expert adviser, vaccine expert, and border health expert in the capital of Kinshasa, as well as personnel deployed to the border country of Uganda, where there is a high risk of cross-country spread due to the mobile populations there.

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