first_img By Jon CohenOct. 17, 2018 , 4:55 PM Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Ebola outbreak in Congo is not yet international emergency Health workers caring for Ebola patients in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s North Kivu province burn medical waste. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Emailcenter_img The deadly outbreak of Ebola that’s been stubbornly defying containment efforts in the northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for more than 2 months does not rise to what’s known as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).That’s the conclusion of an emergency committee convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) that has reviewed the outbreak.The PHEIC designation hinges on the risk of the virus jumping borders, whether the outbreak is “extraordinary,” and whether an international response is necessary, says the panel’s chair, epidemiologist Robert Steffen of the University of Zurich in Switzerland, who spoke today at a press conference at WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. In theory, such a designation would help better coordinate and ramp up the response. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) JOHN WESSELS/AFP/Getty Images The DRC outbreak location borders both Uganda and Rwanda. Although there have been 220 documented cases (and 142 people have died) since the outbreak surfaced on 1 August, all of the cases have been in the DRC.This is the 10th Ebola outbreak in the country, and the second this year. (The first ran from May through July in a different part of the country.) The current outbreak is occurring in an active conflict zone, Steffen noted, which has made containment harder and has threatened the lives of responders. The international response, he said, “is already taking place” and “many partner organizations since early August have already achieved a lot.”Steffen said declaring a PHEIC “might hinder the efforts of the response teams and might have a negative implication for the whole action to control the outbreak.” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says he accepts the committee’s recommendation and will ask it to reconvene if the situation changes.Jeremy Farrar, who heads Wellcome Trust in London, issued a statement that a spokesperson said emphasizes the seriousness of the situation without questioning the committee’s conclusion. “Many of the elements are there to make this a public health emergency of international concern,” Farrar said. “Declaring this could have released more resources, including finance, health care workers, enhanced security and infrastructure—as well as more international political support.”WHO sees things differently. “The support we’re getting from the international community is actually great,” Tedros said in response to a question on whether it would be harder to obtain international assistance without a PHEIC declaration.A key complication of this response is that more than half of the newly identified infections do not have links to previous cases.More than 18,000 people have received an experimental Ebola vaccine during this outbreak under what’s known as a ring vaccination strategy in which only those likely to come in contact with cases are inoculated. “We believe the vaccine is working,” Tedros said, but there has not yet been any formal evaluation. Uganda and Rwanda are studying the vaccine, Tedros says, “and we believe it will be approved as soon as possible.” (Another 75 people have received experimental drugs.) WHO epidemiologist Peter Salama, who heads a team of 250 responding to the outbreak, noted that the emergency committee discussed going beyond the ring vaccination strategy and using it across larger geographical areas to reach more of the population.Steffen said the stepped-up response has “mitigated” the outbreak in one of the two affected provinces. “So we do have some optimism that this outbreak, just like the one in May, will be brought under control within reasonable time,” he said.last_img read more