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Ebola in DRC, not a health emergency of international concern - WHO

Democratic Republic Of Congo

The World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Committee declared on Friday in Geneva, Switzerland, that the current outbreak of ebola fever in the DRC is a health emergency.

However, it does not meet the criteria of a Public Health Emergency of International concern under the International Health Regulations of 2005.

The situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was reviewed, including the current epidemiological situation and response strategies, including changes instituted to improve community engagement.

The organization made recommendations and encouraged strict border controls as Uganda has done, and preventive practices such as hand washing.

It also suggested administration of preventive vaccines to front-line health personnel.

The current Ebola epidemic, which began in August last year in eastern DRC, has already affected 2,062 people, killing an estimated 1,390.

To be declared a global emergency of international concern, the epidemic must pose a risk to other countries and require a coordinated response.

A declaration that generally triggers more funding and political attention.

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