World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has declared the Ebola virus disease outbreak in Congo a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
The announcement was made on Wednesday following a meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee for Ebola virus disease in Congo, the fourth of its kind since the outbreak was declared on August 1, 2018, Xinhua reported.
The Committee made its recommendation based on recent developments, including the first confirmed case in Goma, a city of almost two million people on the border with Rwanda, and the gateway to the rest of the Congo and the world.
Latest UN figures showed that some 650 people have died in the current outbreak, while about 12 new cases are reported every day.
The Ebola virus is responsible for Ebola virus disease which is also called Ebola haemorrhagic fever. The virus has now spread to the city of Goma, where over 2 million people are at risk of contracting the disease now. According to reports, a WHO committee had previously denied how to advise the United Nations health agency regarding the outbreak, though it was noted to have met the conditions of a global health risk long before.
Now that the outbreak has been declared a global health risk, it warrants a lot more attention and will receive additional assistance from health agencies around the world.
Ebola is extremely contagious and passes from person to person via infected body fluids. In December 2018, a six-day old baby who was taken to an Ebola treatment center was the first one on record to have recovered from the virus.
Infected individuals typically present with fever, headache, myalgia (muscle pain), and general fatigue. At a later stage, internal bleeding may occur, which leads to a series of other complications and may often result in an individual coughing or vomiting blood.
(With IANS inputs)