Hey! Remember last month when the World Health Organization was like 'nah, let's not declare this outbreak of a viral hemorrhagic fever that's killed over 1,000 people this time around a public health emergency of international concern'? They were afraid that the flow of aid could be impeded into the outbreak's hot zone, located in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as nations around the world closed their borders to flights in and out of the disease and civil war-addled nation. Welp, screw that: earlier today, the WHO back-peddled on their nah, transforming it into a slightly panicked Yeah.
WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus today declared the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
“It is time for the world to take notice and redouble our efforts. We need to work together in solidarity with the DRC to end this outbreak and build a better health system,” said Dr. Tedros. “Extraordinary work has been done for almost a year under the most difficult circumstances. We all owe it to these responders -- coming from not just WHO but also government, partners and communities -- to shoulder more of the burden.”
At the time that this post was well, posted, the count for the number of individuals known to have died due to Ebola had risen to 1676 deaths (1582 confirmed, 94 probable) in the Democratic Republic of Congo. What made the WHO change their minds on declaring an emergency? Read the rest