WHO web­site pro­vides info on Ebola epi­demic in Congo

Santa Fe New Mexican - - HEALTH & SCIENCE -

Since last sum­mer, Congo has been in the crosshairs of the sec­ond worst out­break of the Ebola virus dis­ease. As of the end of Jan­uary, more than 730 cases and 459 deaths have been re­ported. In­ter­na­tional pub­lic health of­fi­cials are work­ing to get ef­fec­tive treat­ments into the con­flict-rid­den re­gion.

The World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion’s Ebola virus dis­ease web­site is a clear­ing­house for in­for­ma­tion on the epi­demic, from de­tails about its toll to pub­li­ca­tions about the virus and how the world is work­ing to fight it.

It of­fers an up-to-date view of the progress of a dis­ease that is shrouded in fear. And for good rea­son: Highly con­ta­gious, Ebola can spread rapidly and be dif­fi­cult for health of­fi­cials to con­tain. In 2014 and 2015, more than 28,000 cases were re­ported through­out West Africa, and 11,310 peo­ple died. The Ebola out­break in Congo is so se­ri­ous that the di­rec­tor of the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion in Novem­ber warned that it is pos­si­ble the deadly virus can­not be brought un­der con­trol there. In­stead, he said, Ebola will have to be viewed as an en­trenched dis­ease. An ex­per­i­men­tal Ebola vac­cine is be­ing used in Congo.

The WHO’s web­site of­fers more in­for­ma­tion about the strate­gic re­sponse un­der­way in Congo, in­clud­ing sit­u­a­tion re­ports on deaths and in­fec­tions and in­for­ma­tion about the vac­cine. It also has back­ground in­for­ma­tion about how the virus is trans­mit­ted, con­tained and treated, along with valu­able in­for­ma­tion on pre­pared­ness and lessons learned from the deadly 2014-2015 out­break.

WHO also of­fers a free on­line course about Ebola. De­signed for de­ci­sion-mak­ers, the three-hour course is also a valu­able re­source for any­one who wants a more in­depth look at the deadly virus and how to pro­tect from its spread.

The­World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion’s Ebola dis­ease web­site is www.who.int/ebola/en

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