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WHO declares Ebola epidemic a global emergency

AFP reported that Nigeria became the latest country to declare a national emergency over the deadly Ebola virus as the World Health Organisation called the epidemic that has claimed nearly 1,000 lives a global health crisis.

Dr Margaret Chan DG of WHO appealed for greater help for those worst hit by the largest, most severe and most complex outbreak in the nearly four decade history of this disease.

Dr Chan said that “I am declaring the current outbreak a public health emergency of international concern warning of the serious and unusual nature of the outbreak and the potential for further international spread.”

Dr Chan said that defining the epidemic a public health emergency of international concern a label only used twice before, during the H1N1 swine flu pandemic in 2009 and last May for the reemergence of polio alerts the world to the need for high vigilance.

The WHO appealed for international aid to help afflicted countries after a rare meeting of the UN health body’s emergency committee, which urged screening of all people flying out of the affected countries in west Africa. It stopped short of calling for global travel restrictions, urging airlines to take strict precautions but to continue flying to the west African countries hit by the outbreak. And it called on countries around the globe to be prepared to detect, investigate and manage Ebola cases if they should arise.

Source – AFP


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