World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, called an emergency committee meeting to address the current surge in Ebola cases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
“The current spike in Ebola cases and deaths is extremely worrying,” a spokesperson for the International Rescue Committee (IRC) remarked, last week.
At Wednesday's committee meeting, Ghebreyesus noted that there is no need for an international emergency to be declared but the cases in the DRC region are to be viewed as dangerous.
"I have accepted the Emergency Committee’s recommendation not to declare a public health emergency of international concern. But this does not mean WHO is not taking the #Ebola outbreak in #DRC seriously. We still have more than 250 people working in DRC to end this outbreak," the director general posted to Twitter.
About 130 people have died since July, which is the tenth outbreak to devastate the DRC over the last 40 years, more than doubling since September. Over 200 suspected cases of the virus, which causes a deadly hemorrhagic fever, have been reported in the latest outbreak, the country’s second this year.
“Conspiracy theories, fear and mistrust around the disease have caused people to resist help and hide symptoms,” Red Cross spokesman Euloge Ishimwe told Reuters.
At least 33 people have been infected with the deadly Ebola virus in the past week, 24 of which have since passed away, according to the health ministry of the DRC.
Ebola spreads through contact with the bodily fluids of infected individuals.
The DRC Ministry of Health said 73 patients had received new trial treatments. About half recovered, 20 remain hospitalized and the others died.