The UN's World Health Organization has declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Roughly 1,700 people have died of Ebola during the ongoing outbreak. This is only the fifth time that WHO has declared a global health emergency. The are hoping that the declaration will free up money from wealthy countries. Read more below from The Scientific American.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the worsening Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) a public-health emergency of international concern (PHEIC). The move came amid renewed fears that the virus could spread beyond the DRC’s borders.
The declaration is the WHO’s highest level of alarm. This is the fifth time that the agency, an arm of the United Nations, has declared a global emergency—a step it reserves for events that pose a risk to multiple countries and that require a coordinated international response.
More than 2,500 people have become ill and nearly 1,700 have died during the DRC outbreak, making it the second-worst on record. The WHO’s investigations have suggested that the virus began spreading in the eastern DRC a few months before the outbreak was declared in August 2018.
“Now is the time for the international community to stand in solidarity with the people of Congo,” said WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a press briefing on 17 July.