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WHO calls emergency meeting to address Ebola outbreak in Congo

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, May 18th, 2018

 

The World Health Organization (WHO) will convene an emergency meeting today to consider the international risk of the Ebola outbreak in Congo.

WHO official Peter Salama says the UN body would decide whether to declare a public health emergency of international concern. Salama explains doing so would trigger more international involvement, mobilizing sources and resource.

The UN body made the decision to call for an emergency meeting after an Ebola virus case was confirmed in Mbandaka, which has a population of one million.

There have already been 44 suspected, probable or confirmed cases of Ebola in Congo, and 23 people have died. — Reuters

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WHO extremely concerned about Ebola ‘perfect storm’ in Congo

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

 

FILE PHOTO: The World Health Organization (WHO) logo is pictured at the entrance of its headquarters in Geneva, January 25, 2015. REUTERS/PIERRE ALBOUY

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday (September 25) that the Ebola outbreak in the northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo could deteriorate rapidly because of attacks by armed groups, community resistance and the geographic spread of the disease.

“We are now extremely concerned that several factors may be coming together over the next weeks and months to create a potential perfect storm,” WHO’s head of emergency response Peter Salama told a news conference in Geneva.

At least 100 people have died in the outbreak, out of 150 cases in North Kivu and Ituri provinces.

The response was at a critical juncture, and although the weekly number of new cases has fallen from about 40 to about 10 in the past few weeks and more than 11,700 people have been vaccinated, there were major obstacles ahead, Salama said.

Attacks by armed opposition groups had increased in severity and frequency, especially attributed to the Alliance of Democratic Forces, most dramatically an attack that killed 21 in the city of Beni, where WHO’s operation is based.

The city has declared a “Ville Morte”, a period of mourning until at least Friday (September 28), obliging WHO to suspend its operations.

On Monday (September 24), 80 percent of Ebola contacts and three suspected cases in and around Beni could not be reached for disease monitoring.

Pockets of “reluctance, refusal, and resistance” to accept Ebola vaccination were generating many of the new cases, Salama said. — Reuters

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Dengue infects over 59,000, kills 69 in Thailand

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, September 20th, 2018

Accumulated wastewater, rubbish in Rim Bung Makkasan, Bangkok, Thailand | CCTV via REUTERS

Thailand has seen over 59,000 patients infected with dengue fever, 69 of whom died from the disease, according to the figures given by the country’s health department in September.

In Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, the latest number of dengue sufferers is 5,899 with five deaths. Two victims came from the slum of Rim Bung Makkasan, one of the most dengue-hit areas in the city.

The sanitary condition in Rim Bung Makkasan is so bad, with a large amount of rubbish piled up there, and smelly wastewater accumulated in low-lying areas, which provide a suitable environment for insects like mosquitoes to grow up in the rainy season, intensifying the epidemic situation here.

Most of the residents living in the shanties in Rim Bung Makkasan are migrant workers and their children and elder family members.

For Uraiphon, her son and grandson were both infected with dengue, and the disease claimed the life of her son days ago.

Uraiphon said there are about 200 people in the slum, some of whom suffered dengue, but now the situation is getting better.

“After my son died of dengue, no one more was diagnosed with the disease here,” said Uraiphon.

Now Bangkok’s disease control department has taken measures to hold back dengue from spreading by killing mosquitoes and eliminating accumulated water.

“The government dispatched workers like avenue leader and medical staffers to help us wipe out disease. The mosquitoes were reproduced from wastewater and rubbish. In recent days, the government is conducting us to work at the sanitary work. We cooperated with each other to make the environment better. We thank them very much,” said Somtawin, another resident in Rim Bung Makkasan

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne contagious tropical disease caused by the dengue virus. After infected, the patients will have symptoms like fever, headache, and arthralgia. Now there has no efficient drug to fight against the disease.

In Thailand, the peak time of dengue breakout is the rainy season from July to September. The data from the Thai health department indicate that last year, 9,368 people in Bangkok were infected with Dengue, six of whom lost their lives. — Reuters

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UK baby born with heart outside body allowed to visit home

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

 

Baby Vanellope Wilkins | REUTERS

A British baby who was born with her heart outside her body has been allowed to make visits to her parents’ home after months in a hospital, the BBC reported on Monday (September 10).

Vanellope Wilkins was born last November, with medics giving her less than a 10 percent chance of survival.

However, after nine months and three operations for the rare condition, she has now begun spending time at the home of her parents, Naomi Findlay and Dean Wilkins, in Bulwell in central England, the BBC said.

They have had to recreate the hospital’s critical care environment at their house but are hoping she will be able to return home permanently.

Vanellope was due to be delivered on Christmas Eve last year but the condition, ectopia cordis, meant she had to be born prematurely by Caesarean section on Nov. 22. Vanellope is believed to be the first baby born with the condition in Britain to have survived.    — Reuters

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