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The Latest: WHO: Ebola in Congo not global health emergency

The Latest: WHO: Ebola in Congo not global health emergency Photo: AP.

May 18, 2018 10:52 AM

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — The Latest on the Ebola outbreak in Congo (all times local):

3:35 p.m.

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The World Health Organization says the ongoing Ebola outbreak in Congo does not yet warrant being declared a global health emergency.

For a health crisis to constitute a global health emergency it must meet three criteria stipulated by WHO: It must threaten other countries via the international spread of disease, it must be a "serious, unusual or unexpected" situation and it may require immediate international action for containment.

Dr. Robert Steffen, chair of the WHO's expert committee, tells reporters that there are "strong reasons to believe this situation can be brought under control."

The Congo outbreak now has 14 confirmed cases, including one in a city of more than 1 million just an hour's flight from the capital, Kinshasa.

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3:25 p.m.

The World Health Organization says vaccinations are planned to begin on Sunday in the Ebola outbreak in Congo.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is speaking to reporters after an experts' meeting to determine whether the epidemic warrants being declared a global health emergency.

Congo's latest Ebola outbreak now has 14 confirmed cases as health officials rush to contain the often deadly virus in a city of more than 1 million.

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8:30 a.m.

There are now 14 confirmed Ebola cases in Congo's latest outbreak as health officials rush to contain the often deadly virus in a city of more than 1 million.

Congo has contained several past Ebola outbreaks but this is the first time the vast, impoverished country has encountered the hemorrhagic fever in an urban area.

The World Health Organization has an emergency meeting today.

The outbreak tests the new experimental Ebola vaccine, which proved effective in the West Africa outbreak a few years ago. More than 4,000 doses have arrived in Congo this week, with more on the way.

Just one Ebola death in this current outbreak has been confirmed so far. Congo's health ministry says the total number of cases is 45, including 10 suspected and 21 probable ones.

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Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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