Ebola outbreak in Congo not an international emergency: WHO | CBC News

The Ebola outbreak in Congo that hit Uganda this week should not be declared a global emergency, the World Health Organization concluded Friday.

The outbreak is a health emergency in Congo (also known as Congo-Kinshasa) and the region, but does not meet the criteria to be declared a public health emergency of international concern, the WHO’s emergency committee said.

To be declared a global emergency, outbreaks must constitute a risk to other countries and require a co-ordinated response.

Dr. Preben Aavitsland, acting chair of the committee advising WHO, said they were deeply concerned about the lack of adequate funding and resources from the international community for the outbreak.

Declaring an international emergency typically triggers more funding and political attention.

This outbreak, the second-deadliest in history, has killed more than 1,400 people since it was declared in August.

Congo’s outbreak is in the northeastern region, near the borders of Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan.

Aid workers have said mistrust has been high in the border region, which is experiencing its first outbreak. Attacks by rebel groups are also hampering efforts to stamp out the outbreak. 

On Monday, a Congolese family travelling to Uganda brought the virus over that border.

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