WHO Declares Democratic Republic of Congo Outbreak to be ‘a Global Emergency’


The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to officially be a global public health emergency.  1,650 people  have died in the last year as government officials and aid agencies struggle to contain the virus.

In Goma, home to 1.5 million people, the death of a 46-year old pastor has led to the heightened threat level as fears increase it could spread there.

The pastor travelled by bus to Goma with at least 18 other people. Only eight of those have since been traced by surveillance teams.

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If there was to be an outbreak in Goma, experts claim it would be very difficult to control, although the heightened threat level will likely see an increase in specialists and resources to try and contain the outbreak.

Currently, there will be no restrictions on travel or trade in place. Nor will passengers at ports or airports outside the immediate region be screened. This is despite a new Ebola case being reported in Uganda on Wednesday and the heightened threat level.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO chief, commented that a committee of experts had made the decision to not introduce restrictions.

Between 2013 and 2016 more than 11,000 died after an Ebola outbreak in West Africa.  The current outbreak is the second worst in history.


2019/2020 Deputy Editor. English grad with a love for giraffes, tea and travel.

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