Public health experts warn that the implacable spread of the virus means the outbreak could easily continue well into next year.
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It is the second largest Ebola outbreak in history after the one in West Africa in , which infected 28, people and caused 11, deaths. The decision on Wednesday was based on a vote by 11 members of an expert panel convened by Dr. Tedros to reassess the current outbreak after an infected man carried the virus to the city of Goma, a densely populated transportation hub close to Rwanda that has an international airport.
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That patient has died. Global health groups had been calling for the declaration for months. Not only do we believe that the decision will help bring additional needed attention to this ongoing crisis, but also move nations in the regions to take all necessary steps to address the potential spread of the disease. Sign up for the Science Times newsletter.
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The W. Officials who have visited the region say supplies are running short, including the protective gear that health workers need to avoid becoming infected. At a United Nations meeting about the outbreak on Monday, one official said he had seen syringes and gloves being reused because equipment was becoming scarce. Tedros said that emergency declarations were not meant to be used to raise money, and that the W. More than , people have received an Ebola vaccine made by Merck that is considered highly effective.
Concerns about the supply have led the W. Pamela L. Eisele, a spokeswoman for Merck, said in an email that Merck had donated more than , doses of the vaccine to the W. It takes about a year to produce a batch of the vaccine, she said. Michael Ryan, the executive director for W. The man who brought the disease to Goma was a pastor who had preached in seven churches in the epidemic zone, laying hands on the sick.
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He became ill and was treated by a nurse, but got on a bus to Goma anyway. The bus stopped at three checkpoints meant to halt the spread of the disease by screening passengers for symptoms, but his illness was not detected.
In , a total of countries were threatened by epidemic events due to pandemic and epidemic diseases. However, in the ten years since the IHR were drafted, major global events such as H1N1 pandemic influenza , MERs CoV , Ebola in West Africa, Zika virus in the Americas have shaken the world, injecting urgency into the conversation, creating demand for revision of international instruments governing global health.
The results were mixed: the IHR are robust, but the implementation is uneven. Many pockets of vulnerability threatening global health security remain allowing, for instance, the unprecedented international spread of Ebola virus in The world is only as strong as its weakest links.
Recent epidemics of international concern are also shaping institutions and the global health landscape. This is a profound change in the function of the World Health Organization, establishing a new health emergencies programme to deliver rapid support to countries to prevent, detect and respond to emergencies. This demonstrates the interest and concern with which the international community views not only epidemics and pandemics as but all health emergencies such as humanitarian emergencies.
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