Ebola outbreak in Congo is a public health emergency of international concern, WHO says

Thursday, July 18, 2019
By Paul Martin

By Jacqueline Howard and David McKenzie
CNN.com
Thu July 18, 2019

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

“The risk of Ebola spread in DRC and the region remains very high, and the risk of spread outside the region remains low,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO, said during a press conference on Wednesday.

“Now is the time for the international community to stand in solidarity with the people of DRC.”

WHO defines a public health emergency of international concern as “an extraordinary event” that constitutes a “public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease” and “to potentially require a coordinated international response.”

The WHO International Health Regulations’ Emergency Committee for Ebola Viral Disease in Congo convened at the organization’s world headquarters in Geneva on Wednesday to discuss whether or not the outbreak constitutes international concern.

“The fight is ongoing for a full year now,” Robert Steffen, chairman of the committee, said during a press conference on Wednesday.

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