WHO says disease might return to Africa

15012016C Disease

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued a warning stating that the deadly Ebola virus might return to Africa.

This was revealed by Dr Alex Gasasira, the WHO Representative in Liberia.

Gasasira also gave an assurance that the organisation will continue to support Africa, in its effort to combat the disease.

Leadership Newspapers, reports that Dr Margaret Chan, the WHO Director-General, in a statement said “But our work is not done and vigilance is necessary to prevent new outbreaks.”

Adding that “To date, 10 such flare-ups have been identified that were not part of the original outbreak, and are likely the result of the virus persisting in survivors even after recovery. Evidence shows that the virus disappears relatively quickly from survivors, but can remain in the semen of a small number of male survivors for as long as 1 year, and in rare instances, be transmitted to intimate partners.”

“We are now at a critical period in the Ebola epidemic as we move from managing cases and patients to managing the residual risk of new infections. The risk of re-introduction of infection is diminishing as the virus gradually clears from the survivor population, but we still anticipate more flare-ups and must be prepared for them. A massive effort is underway to ensure robust prevention, surveillance and response capacity across all three countries by the end of March,” the statement said.

The World Health Organisation is a specialised agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health.

 It was established on 7 April 1948, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

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