We saw this one coming
| WHO declares Ebola outbreak an international health emergency
By Helen Branswell, July 17, 2019
| STAT – The World Health Organization declared the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo a global health emergency on Wednesday, a move that is likely to escalate international attention on a crisis that has flared for a year despite aggressive efforts to stamp it out.
The declaration, which critics have contended is long overdue, could increase the amount of funding and assistance other countries are willing to provide to the response effort. Ebola Out of Control in Congo; Migrants Seek Entry to USA Via Mexico
Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declared the public health emergency of international concern — known as a PHEIC — as his organization and its partners scramble to contain what they’ve described as the most challenging outbreak ever and struggled to raise the funding needed to finance the operation. He did so on the recommendation of a panel of outside experts.
The emergency committee had recommended against the declaration of a PHEIC for the outbreak on three previous occasions. Ebola Deaths Top 1,000 in Congo Amid Clinic Attacks
“This is still a regional emergency and by no means a global threat,” said the head of the emergency committee, Robert Steffen.
Tedros, as the director-general is known, reconvened the group after health officials discovered Sunday that a man infected with Ebola had traveled to Goma, a city of 2 million south of the outbreak zone.
Goma is located near DRC’s border with Rwanda and it is a regional transportation hub. The man, a pastor, has since died.
Though there is no indication yet whether the man infected anyone in Goma, the presence of a case there raises serious concerns. It had long been feared that the disease might take root in Goma, and that the city would serve as a launching pad to send cases both to regional neighbors and potentially further afield.
To date the outbreak has spread broadly within North Kivu and Ituri, two northeastern provinces on DRC’s border with Uganda, South Sudan, and Rwanda. Read more.