WTO declares the Ebola outbreak to be an international health emergency
Today, the World Health organization (WTO) declared that the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa is an international public health emergency that must be dealt with swiftly and efficiently before the virus becomes uncontainable.
The decision to make this declaration was unanimously agreed upon by a committee of public health and risk management experts. WTO Director-General, Doctor Margaret Chan, has stated that the Ebola outbreak will not be stopped until health workers on the frontlines start getting more support.
In a press conference in Geneva earlier today, Doctor Chan stated that the declaration is “a clear call for international solidarity” but that it “by no means, implies that all countries, or that many countries, will see Ebola cases”.
There have been more than 1,700 cases of Ebola reported since the outbreak reached international attention in March, 900 of which have resulted in deaths, making this the worst outbreak to occur since the virus was discovered almost 40 years ago.
So far, almost all of the cases have been in three West African nations: Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. The outbreak is spreading faster than the efforts to stop them, according to Doctor Chan. This is due in large part to the shortage of health care workers and supplies that these countries need in order to deal with this outbreak.
“Countries affected to date simply do not have the capacity to manage an outbreak of this size and complexity on their own,” Doctor Chan said. “I urge the international community to provide this support on the most urgent basis possible.”
Read more about the story at CNN.