WHO Calls for Emergency Meeting on Ebola

139 people have now died in the outbreak

The Emergency Committee, scheduled for Wednesday at WHO headquarters in Geneva, will decide whether the outbreak constitutes a public health emergency of global concern, and what recommendations should be made to manage the spread of the disease.

The organisation noted in a statement in Geneva that the meeting, which would involve committee of independent experts, may make recommendations on how best to manage the outbreak. In response to the challenges faced in this outbreak, the committee issued public health advice (see infographic).

Congo's health ministry says there are now 179 confirmed cases, including 104 deaths. Furthermore, out of the new cases confirmed, at least 15 have been linked to known cases "or were linked retrospectively through case to transmission chains within the respective communities".

Deadly in about 50% of cases, it has no proven treatment and those who become sick with the illness are treated with fluids and rest - often in isolation in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus.

Because of the increase in violent events, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has relocated CDC health workers that were volunteering in violent areas, effectively pulling the workers from areas with the most need.

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This method has been implemented in the Beni Health Zone because it has the highest number of contacts and has experienced the greatest amount of resistance from residents.

According to the DRC Ministry of Health, 73 patients have been treated with the experimental therapies mAb 114, Remdesivir, Zmapp or Regeneron in this outbreak.

The ministry said on Monday that 33 people were confirmed with Ebola virus just within last week and 24 of them died.

World Health Organization stated that it had amended "its risk assessment of the Ebola epidemic in the DRC due to potential risk factors for Ebola transmission at the national and regional levels, including transport links and population movements". Neighbouring Uganda has stepped up border controls in response to the outbreak, yet people in the region are wary of authority after years of war, which makes disease control measures hard.

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