WHO Emergency Committee Meeting To Determine Whether To Declare Ebola Epidemic International Threat; CDC Opens Emergency Operations Center To Assist In DRC Outbreak

Agence France-Presse: WHO emergency panel meets on Ebola after Uganda deaths
“The World Health Organization emergency committee will decide Friday whether to declare a raging Ebola epidemic an international threat, after an outbreak that began in Democratic Republic of Congo crossed into Uganda. The WHO panel, which was formed in 2005, has used the label ‘public health emergency of international concern’ for only four previous epidemics…” (6/14).

Financial Times: Ebola escalation keeps World Bank’s ‘pandemic bonds’ in spotlight
“The World Bank’s ‘pandemic bonds’ are under scrutiny again following an escalation in the Ebola outbreak in central Africa. … Despite [the outbreak’s recent spread into Uganda], the World Bank’s pandemic bonds would not pay out until at least 20 people were confirmed to have died in Uganda and a positive rate of growth of the outbreak was confirmed, according to a person familiar with the bonds. Only then would the Washington-headquartered institution pay $90m to help both governments and international aid responders tackle the crisis…” (Asgari, 6/13).

HealthDay News: CDC Opens Emergency Operations Center for Congo Ebola Outbreak
“The United States is stepping up its response to a historic outbreak of Ebola in two African nations. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention activated its Emergency Operations Center Thursday to assist in the government’s response to the second-largest outbreak of Ebola on record. The announcement came as the deadly virus crossed the border from the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to Uganda, where two have died…” (Reinberg, 6/13).

New York Times: Uganda Discloses Greater Ebola Threat Than Previously Known
“Uganda’s exposure to Ebola infection from the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo appeared to have increased on Thursday, as the death toll rose to two and three suspected cases were reported in a Ugandan border hospital. The number of people in Uganda who may have been exposed to carriers of the Ebola virus expanded significantly, from eight to at least 27. The disclosures, in a Ministry of Health update on its website, suggested an accelerating threat to Uganda from the Ebola virus…” (Gladstone, 6/13).

Reuters: INTERVIEW — Ebola not known to be spreading in Uganda — WHO
“There has been no known person-to-person spread of Ebola in Uganda despite the deaths of two people there who arrived with the disease from Congo, the top World Health Organization (WHO) expert told Reuters on Thursday. Dr. Mike Ryan, head of WHO’s emergencies program, said that he expected Uganda to approve the use of experimental therapeutic drug treatments, to be shipped ‘in coming days.’ Monitoring and vaccination had been stepped up, but there had been ‘no panic reaction’ so far to the cases there…” (Nebehay, 6/13).

Additional coverage of the Ebola outbreak is available from Agence France-Presse, Associated Press, Axios, CIDRAP News, CNN, Reuters (2), U.N. News, and UPI.

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