The Latest: WHO says Ebola outbreak not yet global emergency
GENEVA (AP) — The Latest on Ebola outbreak in Congo (all times local):
The World Health Organization says that while the ongoing Ebola outbreak in Congo is of “deep concern” the situation does not yet warrant being declared a global emergency.
Following a meeting of its expert committee on Friday, the U.N. health agency says it remains very worried about the recent spike in Ebola cases and the potential risk of the virus affecting other countries.
Congo’s health ministry on Thursday reported 1,206 confirmed and probable cases, including 764 deaths, since the outbreak was declared on Aug. 1. The outbreak is occurring close to the borders of Uganda and Rwanda, with South Sudan not far away.
A top Red Cross official says he’s “more concerned than I have ever been” about the possible regional spread of the Ebola virus in Congo after a recent spike in cases.
Emanuele Capobianco spoke by phone ahead of a key World Health Organization meeting in Geneva later Friday about whether to declare the Ebola outbreak in northeastern Congo an international health emergency.
Capobianco, head of health and care at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, cited Congolese health ministry statistics announced on Thursday showing 40 new cases over two days this week.
He called that rate unprecedented in the current eight-month outbreak.
He cites lack of trust about Ebola treatment in the community and insecurity caused by rebel groups that has hurt aid efforts.