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WHO Emergency Committee Says Focus Should Remain On Containing Ebola In West Africa

Media sources report on a meeting of the WHO International Health Regulations Emergency Committee on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Agence France-Presse: Ebola still of ‘great concern’ in West Africa epicenter: WHO
“…The World Heath Organization said after an emergency meeting on the deadly hemorrhagic fever that the situation in the worst-hit countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone ‘remains of great concern’ as cases increase exponentially…” (Fowler, 10/23).

The Hill: WHO: Ebola screenings will have ‘limited effect’
“The entry screenings for Ebola imposed in the United States are not a cost-effective way to keep out the virus, leaders of the World Health Organization (WHO) warned Thursday…” (Ferris, 10/23).

Reuters: WHO wary of screening arriving passengers for Ebola, but no ban
“Screening passengers for Ebola on their arrival may have ‘a limited effect’ in stopping the virus spreading but whether it adds anything to exit screening from affected countries is a decision for governments, the World Health Organization said on Thursday…” (Miles/Nebehay, 10/23).

Reuters: WHO voices confidence no wider spread of Ebola in Africa
“…Asked whether countries such as Guinea Bissau, Mali, and Ivory Coast might have cases of the disease crossing their borders without knowing about or reporting them, WHO assistant director general Keiji Fukuda said he considered that unlikely…” (Nebehay/Kelland, 10/23).

U.N. News Centre: Primary focus of response must be to halt spread of Ebola in West Africa — U.N.
“…Reporting on the outcome of the third meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which wrapped up [Wednesday] in Geneva, the experts stressed that focusing on the countries at the epicenter of the outbreak, including through reinforcing high-quality exit screening procedures at airports, ‘is the most important step for preventing international spread’…” (10/23).

USA TODAY: WHO says Ebola outbreak continues to spread in West Africa
“…Ebola has now reached every district in Sierra Leone and all but one district in Liberia, with ‘intense transmission’ in these countries’ capital cities, according to the WHO. West Africa today is nowhere near goals set by the United Nations to get the outbreak under control, according to the WHO…” (Szabo, 10/24).

WHO: Statement on the 3rd meeting of the IHR Emergency Committee regarding the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa
“…The primary emphasis must continue to be stopping the transmission of Ebola within the 3 affected countries with intense transmission. This action is the most important step for preventing international spread. Specific attention, including through appropriate monitoring and follow-up of their health, should be paid to the needs of health care workers. This will also encourage more health care staff to assist in this outbreak…” (10/23).

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