Despite a week with record cases, the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) emergency committee today agreed for a second time that the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)—history’s second largest—does not constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
“Although we have great concern about rising numbers in some regions, the outbreak has not spread internationally over many months,” said Robert Steffen, PhD, the head of the committee, during press conference. “There is no added benefit to [a] PHEIC, as excellent work is being done on the ground by WHO and its partner organizations.”
Agency taking recent surge seriously
Throughout the press conference Steffen, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, and assistant director-general Mike Ryan, MD, emphasized that recommending against a PHEIC was not a sign of complacency or a failure on the part of the WHO to take the outbreak’s latest spike in cases seriously.
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