WHO Soft-Pedals Deadly Ebola Risk: Experts

FILE – In this Sunday, Sept 9, 2018 file photo, a health worker sprays disinfectant on his colleague after working at an Ebola treatment center in Beni, eastern Congo. Top Red Cross official Emanuele Capobianco said Friday April 12, 2019, that 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. (Screenshot: apnews.com; AP Photo/Al-hadji Kudra Maliro, File)

Fear of doctors is making contagious African villagers difficult – if not impossible – to treat, making the spread of Ebola all but inevitable

By Cara Anna, Apr 13, 2019

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The World Health Organization has decided that the latest outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in Congo is not yet a global health emergency, causing frustration among some health experts.

With multiple rebel groups active in the region, wary communities sometimes resisting health workers and a heavily traveled border nearby, the risk of regional spread is deemed “very high,” WHO says. The outbreak region borders Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan.

A look at the outbreak with 1,220 confirmed and probable cases, including 772 deaths, since it was declared on Aug. 1.

It has become the second-deadliest in history, behind the West African one from 2014-16 that killed more than 11,300 people. Ebola Cases Exceed 1,000 After Natives Chase Off Medics

WHAT IS EBOLA?

Ebola is a virus that can spread quickly and can be fatal in up to 90% of cases. The symptoms include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain and at times internal and external bleeding. Symptoms can start to occur between two and 21 days from infection, according to WHO.

The virus is most often spread by close contact with the bodily fluids of people exhibiting symptoms and with objects such as sheets that have been contaminated.

Health care workers are often at risk of being infected, and burial practices that call for close contact with Ebola victims can spread the disease.

Dozens of people in this outbreak have received one of several experimental Ebola treatments but their effect is yet to be fully studied. While there is no licensed treatment for Ebola, receiving early care such as rehydration and treatment of other symptoms helps to improve survival chances.

A new experimental Ebola vaccine has been shown to be effective. Congo’s health ministry on Friday said more than 98,000 people have been vaccinated. Read more. 

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