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WHO Convenes The Emergency Committee Over A New Ebola Outbreak

WHO Convenes The Emergency Committee Over A New Ebola Outbreak

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on April 14 that it was convening an Ebola Emergency Committee in response to the difficult situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

No new cases of the deadly disease have been reported in this country for almost two months, but three have been detected in recent days. According to who spokeswoman Margaret Harris, two people have died and one is alive. Interestingly, the WHO planned to announce the end of the Ebola epidemic on April 13, but new cases confused the plans.

The Emergency Committee meeting will take place on April 14. The Committee should decide whether to extend the emergency regime in the DRC.

The Ebola epidemic in the DRC began in July-August 2018, mainly in the country's remote eastern provinces of Ituri and North Kivu. As a result, 2,227 people died from the disease.

This is the second Ebola epidemic in the last decade - the first was in West Africa in 2013-16, as a result of which 11,323 people died, and these are only confirmed cases, but who experts believe that in reality there were almost twice as many deaths.

As Margaret Harris explained, the probability of new outbreaks of the disease is very high due to the fact that it is impossible to control all territories, in addition, the virus can remain viable in used needles, syringes and vials for several weeks, and in the fluids of a sick body for several months. Finally, the Ebola virus persists in natural reservoirs - among animals (gorillas, chimpanzees, bats, forest antelopes, porcupines, tufted Duiker antelopes).

During the current outbreak, 11 Ebola control centers were established in the affected regions, about 160 million people were examined, and 300,000 people were vaccinated. The work of medics in the DRC is complicated by frequent attacks by local radical armed groups, who believe that "people in white coats" came to kill the local population with injections. Since 2018, there have been 420 attacks on medical centers, and 11 medics have been injured.