World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Ebola: UN Health Agency to Convene Emergency Meeting

Ebola: UN health agency to convene emergency meeting on deadly disease

A woman waits to enter an Ebola isolation ward to feed her husband, along with Liberian Ministry of Health, WHO, and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) personnel who are treating several Ebola patients located in the capital Monrovia. Photo: UNMIL/Staton Winter

5 August 2014 – The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) announced today that it will convene a two-day meeting of its emergency committee starting tomorrow to determine whether the current Ebola viral disease outbreak in West Africa is a public health emergency of international concern.

WHO spokesperson Tarik Jašarevic told a press briefing at the United Nations Office in Geneva today that the sole subject of the meeting of experts would be the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. It was the first time the emergency committee would discuss Ebola.

“The idea is that the WHO Director-General is seeking an opinion of the emergency committee on whether the current outbreak represented a public health emergency of international concern,” Jašarevic said.

“If it does”, the spokesman said in response to a question, “then the committee would recommend to the Director-General of WHO to declare it a public health emergency of international concern and recommend appropriate temporary measures to reduce international spread” of the virus.

“We can’t speculate in advance what the committee members are going to decide in advance,” he said.

The agency is scheduled to hold a press conference with Dr. Keiji Fukuda, WHO Assistant Director-General for Health Security at 9 a.m. Geneva time on Friday, 8 August, on the outcome of the meeting of the emergency committee, which might finish its work quite late at night on 7 August, the spokesman said.

As of 1 August, the number of Ebola cases stands at 1,603, including 887 deaths, in four countries; those countries are Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. Human and financial resource mobilization continues to be sought from WHO’s partners, UN agencies, and other stakeholders.

The Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak Response Plan in West Africa launched on August 1 in Guinea is estimated at $100 million, with a funding gap of around $71 million to date.

According to WHO, Ebola, formerly known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, affects humans and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees). The origin of the virus is unknown, but fruit bats are considered the likely host.

Sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat are typical signs and symptoms. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding.

WHO says the incubation period, or the time interval from infection to onset of symptoms, is from 2 to 21 days. The patients become contagious once they begin to show symptoms. They are not contagious during the incubation period.

According to the WHO website devoted to this topic, the responsibility of determining whether an event is within this category “public health emergencies of international concern” (PHEIC) lies with the WHO Director-General and requires the convening of a committee of experts – the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee.

This committee advises the WHO Director-General on the recommended measures to be promulgated on an emergency basis, known as temporary recommendations, it said.

Temporary recommendations include health measures to be implemented by the State Party experiencing the public health emergency, or by other States Parties, to prevent or reduce the international spread of disease and avoid unnecessary interference with international traffic, according to WHO.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Israel’s Demolition Of Palestinian Homes

Makarim Wibisono, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories. UN Photo/Violaine Martin More>>

ALSO:

  • Palestinian Centre For Human Rights - Israeli Settlers Continue Their Attacks against Palestinians
  • Tribespeople Call On WWF To Stop Funding Abuse

    This Baka man from Ndongo village reported that he was severely beaten by anti-poaching squads on two occasions. His neighbors have appealed to WWF to stop funding such abuses. More>>

    Ebola: UN Crisis Response Mission Opens New Office In Mali

    Workers build an enclosure at the Mayagba Ebola community care centre construction site in Bombali District, which is among the areas worst affected by the disease in Sierra Leone. Photo: UNICEF/John James More>>

    ALSO:

    UNESCO Chief Denounces Murder Of Somali Radio Journalist

    Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz More>>

    Palestinian Refugees From Syria Face Worsening Situation

    Palestinian women at a UNRWA distribution centre in the Jaramana refugee camp, Damascus, Syria. Photo: UNRWA/Carole Alfarah More>>

    ALSO:

    Greece Risks Prolonged Social Crisis

    Greece’s severe financial crisis has bred social unrest and intolerance of the nearly one million irregular migrants living in the country (October 2012). Photo: IRIN/Kristy Siegfried More>>

    Madagascar: Warning Of ‘rapid’ Spread Of Plague In Capital

    Ny Hantra Andriatsifasoa survived the bubonic plague after being infected in Madagascar in 2011. Photo: IRIN/Tiana Randriaharimalala More>>

    New Bird Flu Strain In Europe Threatens Poultry Sector

    24 November 2014 – The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization ( FAO ) today warned that a new bird flu strain detected in Europe poses a significant threat to the poultry sector, especially in low-resourced countries situated along ... More>>


    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news