The World Health Organisation has declared the current deadly outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to be a “public health emergency of international concern”. The outbreak is said to be the deadliest one to have hit the African country after killing more than 1,650 people in just one year. Health chiefs today sounded the alarm after the first case of the infectious virus was reported in Goma, home to one million people, on Sunday. So far there have been 2,500 cases of infection in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), while 12 new cases being reported every day. Neighbouring country Uganda has already increased its threat level.
Will Congo outbreak spread to the US?
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said there should be no restrictions on travel or trade, or screening of passengers at ports or airports outside the immediate region.
Right now there is no evidence to suggest the outbreak will spread to faraway international countries such as the US.
The UK International Development Secretary Rory Stewart, who recently visited two DRC regions infected by Ebola, said greater funding and expertise will be needed to tackle the issue.
Mr Stewart said: “There is an Ebola outbreak now in Congo that has already crossed the border to Uganda.
“We had an outbreak in Goma (DRC) a city of two million people on Sunday.
“If we do not get this under control this, which is already the second biggest Ebola outbreak in history, will cause devastating problems for the region.
“We must invest much more in the World Health Organisation (WHO), in developing the public health services in the neighbouring countries and above all step up to the challenge and be serious as a nation about this deadly disease.”