The declaration raises the outbreak’s visibility and public health officials towards galvanizing the international community to fight the spread of the frequently fatal disease.
“It is time for the world to take notice and redouble our effort,” said WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
In a statement, the Director-General said: “We all owe it to (current) responders … to shoulder more of the burden.”
As of today, July 18, Ebola has infected more than 2,500 people in the DRC during the new outbreak, killing more than 1,650.
By calling the current situation a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), WHO in Geneva, Switzerland, has placed it in a rare category that includes the 2009 flu pandemic, the Zika epidemic of 2016 and the 2-year Ebola epidemic that killed more than 11,000 people in West Africa before it ended in 2016.
A woman who died of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo may have taken the deadly disease into Rwanda, according to a Ugandan Health Ministry report published by the World Health Organization today, July 18.
The woman, a fishmonger, according WHO, vomited multiple times at a market in Uganda on July 11 before dying of Ebola in Democratic Republic of Congo. The case raised the risk of the disease spreading in Uganda.
“Upon leaving Uganda, she is suspected to have gone to Goma in DRC and later to Gisenyi in Rwanda with unknown business interests,” the latest report said.
Rwanda has never had a recorded case of Ebola. There is currently no vaccine licensed to protect people from Ebola virus.
An experimental vaccine called rVSV-ZEBOV was found to be highly protective against the virus in a trial conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other international partners in Guinea in 2015.
FDA licensure for the vaccine is expected in 2019.
Source: Per Second News.