Health Care

Ebola spread to Uganda could threaten global health

Ebola spread to Uganda could threaten global health”

A panel of 13 independent medical experts on the WHO's Emergency Committee was asked to evaluate the latest evidence and whether to ratchet up the designation of it as posing global concern.

More than 1,400 people have died since this outbreak was declared in August in eastern Congo, one of the world's most turbulent regions, where rebel attacks and community resistance have hurt Ebola response work.

"Although the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo and now Uganda was not declared an worldwide emergency today, the spread of Ebola to Uganda is a clear signal that the global community must reset and redouble its efforts to work with the Congolese people and stop the spread of the disease here in the DRC".

The decision to convene the meeting came from WHO Director-General under the International Health Regulations, the standards for which were used to determine whether a PHEIC declaration should be made.

But invoking the emergency provisions will entail additional measures to manage the outbreak, including a possible call for "immediate global action", according to the United Nations health agency. For instance, World Health Organization officials recommended that every person crossing the Congo-Uganda border continue to be screened for Ebola.

Several of DRC's neighbors have been preparing for months for the possibility that infected people might cross into their territory.

The Emergency Committee formed some strong recommendations for countries and partners, including the need to improve preparedness in regards to detecting and managing exported cases of the disease.

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The committee expressed that they were "deeply disappointed" that they have not received the funding and resources needed for the outbreak and called for the worldwide communities to "step up" for funding.

The outbreak, occurring close to the borders of Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan, has been like no other. Initial symptoms include fever, headache, muscle pain and chills.

The North Kivu outbreak likely started in late April 2018 but was only recognized as Ebola in late July. Both had Ebola, as did the child's 3-year-old sibling. It quickly progresses to vomiting and diarrhea, with signs of internal and external bleeding. Brantly later recovered. Ten other Ebola cases were either treated or diagnosed and treated in the 2014.

The Ebola virus is spread through contact with blood and other bodily fluids.

Experts say people are still dying outside of Ebola treatment centres, exposing their families to the disease, and many do not appear on lists of known contacts being monitored.

Aavitsland added that declaring an emergency could have "unintended consequences" such as airlines stopping flights or governments closing borders.

Meanwhile, new research from Cambridge University released on Thursday indicates that half of all Ebola outbreaks have gone undetected since the virus was discovered in 1976. However, it also explains why many people in these countries show the presence of antibodies to Ebola.

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