Threat: (noun) /θrɛt/ a person or thing likely to cause damage or danger.
On 1st August, WHO was notified by the Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo of Ebola Virus Disease in the North Kivu province. Cases were also subsequently recorded in the Ituri Province.
From 4th May to 15th October 2018, 216 EVD cases were reported, of which 181 are confirmed and 35 are probable; 139 total deaths have occurred, of which 104 are confirmed and 35 are probable. The global case fatality rate stands at 64% overall, and at 57% among confirmed cases.
Nine neighboring countries have been advised that they are at a high risk of spread and have been supported with equipment and personnel. Emphasis has been placed on Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and South Sudan in terms of preparedness activities.
An emergency committee convened by the World Health Organization has decided that the Ebola outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo does not constitute a public health emergency of international concern.
The WHO said Wednesday that 216 cases of Ebola and 139 deaths had been reported, and its International Health Regulations Emergency Committee said the outbreak was a matter of serious concern, especially since it is occurring in an area of conflict in eastern DRC. It said this posed problems for health workers who need to move around freely and track people who are infected with the virus and need treatment.
But the committee said that one reason it did not regard the outbreak as a global threat was that the virus had not spread into neighboring countries.
The Report by WHO
Statement on the October 2018 meeting of the IHR Emergency Committee on the Ebola virus disease outbreak in the DRCPreamble
The meeting of the Emergency Committee convened by the WHO Director-General under the International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005) regarding the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo took place on Wednesday, 17 October 2018, from 13:00 to 17:00 Geneva time (CET).Conclusion
It was the view of the Committee that a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) should not be declared at this time. But the Committee remains deeply concerned by the outbreak and emphasized that response activities need to be intensified and ongoing vigilance is critical. The Committee also noted the very complex security situation. Additionally, the Committee has provided public health advice below.Proceedings of the Meeting
Members and advisors of the Emergency Committee met by teleconference. Presentations were made by representatives of the Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the epidemiological situation, the response strategies, and recent adaptations, including implementation of rapid response teams at community level, with a focus on Beni.
A representative of the Office of the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (MONUSCO) reported on the work of MONUSCO, including its logistics and security activities to support the response.
During the informational session, the WHO Secretariat provided an update on the situation and the response to the current Ebola outbreak and preparedness activities in neighboring countries.
The Committee’s role was to provide to the Director-General its views and perspectives on:
Whether the event constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)
If the event constitutes a PHEIC, what Temporary Recommendations should be made.
Picture Source: AP