WHO: Congo's Ebola outbreak not international emergency

The World Health Organization's emergency committee called for heightened response efforts Oct. 17 to prevent the Democratic Republic of Congo's Ebola outbreak from drastically worsening, according to Reuters.

The committee ruled the ongoing outbreak is not yet a public health emergency of international concern. While such a declaration would have boosted international resources to fight the outbreak, it would also entail travel and transport restrictions that could hinder response efforts.

The Congo has reported a recent uptick in cases due to local violence and community resistance preventing health workers from reaching affected areas. As of Oct. 16, health officials identified 220 Ebola cases, along with 142 deaths linked to the outbreak, which started Aug. 1.

"The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, WHO and partners must intensify the current response. Without this, the situation is likely to deteriorate significantly," the committee said in a statement cited by Reuters.

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