MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018

WHO provides expertise to combat ebola outbreak

The World Health Organization, the Global Alert and other partners recently deployed teams of experts to West African countries to provide guidance and support to combat the ebola outbreak in the region.

The experts include epidemiologists to aid in surveillance, laboratory experts to support mobile field labs for early detection of ebola cases and logisticians to dispatch needed equipment and materials. Clinical management and infection and control experts, along with social mobilization and risk communication teams, were also sent to the region.

The WHO is also organizing a meeting for July 2-3 in Accra, Ghana, between a wide range of partners and leading health authorities from the affected and nearby countries. The goal of the meeting is to form an agreement on a comprehensive regional response to the ebola outbreak.

The outbreak has primarily affected three countries in West Africa. Guinea has reported 396 ebola cases with 280 deaths from the disease, Sierra Leone has seen 176 cases and 46 deaths while Liberia reported 63 cases and 41 deaths so far.

Ebola virus is spread by direct contact with the blood or other body fluids of infected people or animals. The disease causes severe hemorrhaging and can kill up to 90 percent of those infected.