The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is battling to contain the 10th deadly wave of the Ebola virus to sweep the nation. As of April 14, the outbreak has logged 1,198 confirmed infected cases and 768 confirmed fatalities. WHO officials are monitoring the outbreak here.
Despite being the 2nd deadliest Ebola outbreak in history, the WHO’s Emergency Committee decided against declaring it a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), which the organization defines as “an extraordinary event” that constitutes a “public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease” and “to potentially require a coordinated international response.”
Reasons behind the panel’s decision include the fact that the outbreak has yet to spread to other countries, and the affected provinces of North Kivu and Ituri being conflict zones. Despite a high spread risk, experts agree that the mere presence of violence and public fear in these regions have always hindered global responses.
Pharmaceutical company Merck has deployed nearly 145,000 doses of its experimental Ebola vaccine, V920 and hopes to send 100,000 more over the next few months. The WHO estimates 96,000 have been vaccinated, but many infected people are still refusing to go to treatment centers.