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

 

'Very Concerned' After Court Ruling: UNHRC On Transfer Of 267 People From Australia To Nauru

Most of these people were reportedly brought to Australia from Nauru to receive medical treatment and are in a fragile physical and mental state. The group includes more than 12 women and at least one child who have allegedly suffered sexual assault or harassment while in Nauru. The group also includes 37 children born in Australia. More>>

ALSO:

Sanctions To Be Lifted: NZ Welcomes Implementation Of Iran Nuclear Deal

Duty Minister Nikki Kaye has welcomed the next stage in the historic nuclear deal between Iran, the Five Permanent (P5) members of the United Nations Security Council, and Germany... “New Zealand has now started the domestic process for removing the UN sanctions." More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Davos Reports: 62 People Own Same Wealth As Half The World

Runaway inequality has created a world where 62 people own as much wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population – a figure that has fallen from 388 just five years ago, according to an Oxfam report published today ahead of the annual gathering of the world’s financial and political elites in Davos.. More>>

ALSO:

Jakarta: UN Secretary-General On Attacks

The Secretary-General condemns the bombings and gun attacks in Jakarta today... there is absolutely no justification for such acts of terrorism. He hopes the perpetrators of today's attacks will be swiftly brought to justice. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: America, The Gated

How, in a global metropolis like New York, do you write about immigration as a problem to be solved? And yet immigration is a hot button issue among those fighting to break away from the unruly clump of starters in the race for Republican nominee. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news