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

 


UN: ‘Heinous’ Murder Of British Aid Worker By Islamic Militants

A wide view of the Security Council in session (file photo). UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras More>>

ALSO:

UN: Nuclear Programmes Of DPR Korea, Iran Remain Serious Concern

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano (left) delivers his introductory statement at the Board of Governors Meeting in Vienna, Austria. Photo: IAEA/Dean Calma More>>

Libya: Closer To Brink Of Protracted Conflict And Strife

Special Representative and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Bernardino Léon. UN Photo/Evan Schneider More>>

Gaza:Renewed Urgency In West Bank

15 September 2014 – In the aftermath of the recent conflict in the Gaza Strip, a fundamental change is needed in the dynamics in the enclave, the United Nations today reported, calling also for renewed urgency in addressing the situation in the ... More>>

UN Agency Food Prices Drop To Four-Year Low

As the result of two consecutive years of good harvests, global cereal inventories are expected to rise to their highest levels in 15 years. Photo: FAO/Danfung Dennis More>>

Pacific.Scoop: Fiji’s Captive 45 UN Peacekeepers Set Free

The United Nations has confirmed the release of all 45 Fijian peacekeepers who had been held for two weeks by Islamist rebels in the Golan Heights on the Israeli-Syrian border, reports Al Jazeera English. More>>

ALSO:

UN: Ozone Layer Is Recovering But Remains Threatened

The Earth's protective ozone layer is well on track to recovery in the next few decades. Photo: UNEP More>>

UN: Despite Price Dip, Uranium Demand, Production On The Rise

Uranium ore is processed into a concentrate known as yellowcake and packed in special, tightly sealed steel drums similar in size to oil barrels. Photo: IAEA More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news