WHO Press Releases

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This channel provides the five most recent WHO news articles.
Updated: 16 min 32 sec ago

WHO response to Internal Ebola document leaked to media

18. October 2014 - 13:21
A WHO internal document recently obtained by some media outlets was the first draft of a small team documenting the chronology of the Ebola outbreak events for future review. This document has not yet been fact-checked or reviewed by WHO staff involved in the initial response to Ebola, and is part of an on-going analysis of our response.

WHO will not do interviews or explain details on this document until it is completed. WHO believes in transparency and accountability and will release this review when it is fact-checked. For now, WHO's focus is to obtain the resources needed to successfully fight this Ebola outbreak.
Categories: Fora

WHO tobacco treaty makes significant progress despite mounting pressure from tobacco industry

18. October 2014 - 6:07
The sixth session of the Conference of the parties (COP6) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) concluded today in Moscow. Several landmark decisions were adopted in the course of the six-day session, regarded as one of the most successful in the WHO FCTC’s history.

In her opening speech, WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan said that “as implementation of the Framework Convention reaches new heights, the tobacco industry fights back, harder and through every possible channel, no matter how devious those channels and practices are.”
Categories: Fora

WHO congratulates Senegal on ending Ebola transmission

17. October 2014 - 2:00
WHO officially declares the Ebola outbreak in Senegal over and commends the country on its diligence to end the transmission of the virus.

The introduced case was confirmed on 29 August in a young man who had travelled to Dakar, by road, from Guinea, where he had had direct contact with an Ebola patient.
Categories: Fora

The outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Senegal is over

16. October 2014 - 19:27
Forty-two days have now passed since the last contact of Senegal’s single confirmed case of Ebola virus disease completed the requisite 21-day monitoring period, under medical supervision, developed no symptoms, and tested negative for the virus.

WHO officially declares Senegal free of Ebola virus transmission.
Categories: Fora

Are the Ebola outbreaks in Nigeria and Senegal over?

13. October 2014 - 19:27
Not quite yet.

If the active surveillance for new cases that is currently in place continues, and no new cases are detected, WHO will declare the end of the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Senegal on Friday 17 October. Likewise, Nigeria is expected to have passed through the requisite 42 days, with active surveillance for new cases in place and none detected, on Monday 20 October.
Categories: Fora

What we know about transmission of the Ebola virus among humans

5. October 2014 - 19:27
The Ebola virus is transmitted among humans through close and direct physical contact with infected bodily fluids, the most infectious being blood, faeces and vomit.

The Ebola virus has also been detected in breast milk, urine and semen. In a convalescent male, the virus can persist in semen for at least 70 days; one study suggests persistence for more than 90 days.
Categories: Fora

UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response statement for clarification: No threat that Ebola is airborne

3. October 2014 - 3:00
Following recent media reports, the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) seeks to clarify that Ebola is not an airborne disease. At this point in time we have no evidence and do not anticipate that the Ebola virus is mutating to become airborne.

Categories: Fora

WHO statement on the Seventh Meeting of the IHR Emergency Committee regarding MERS-CoV

1. October 2014 - 10:18
The seventh meeting of the Emergency Committee (EC) convened by the Director-General under the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) regarding the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was conducted with members and advisors of the Emergency Committee through electronic correspondence from 26 September 2014 through 30 September 2014.1

The WHO Secretariat provided an update on and assessment of epidemiological and scientific developments, including a description of recently reported cases and transmission patterns. Islamic Republic of Iran and Saudi Arabia provided an update on and assessment of MERS-CoV, including progress towards implementation of the Emergency Committee’s temporary recommendations. 2
Categories: Fora

Experimental Ebola vaccines

30. September 2014 - 19:27
From 29–30 September, WHO organized an expert consultation to assess the status of work to test and eventually license two candidate Ebola vaccines. More than 70 experts, including many from affected and neighbouring countries in West Africa, attended the event.

The expertise represented among participants ranged from the virology of emerging infections, to regulatory requirements that must be met, to medical ethics, public health, and infectious diseases. Heads of clinical research and other executives from the pharmaceutical industry also presented their views.
Categories: Fora

UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response established in Accra

30. September 2014 - 3:00
ACCRA, GHANA – As the number of patients with Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone surpassed 6500 with more than 3000 deaths, the United Nations is increasing the momentum to curb the spread of the disease. The Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Anthony Banbury, arrived in Accra Monday 29 September to head the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), which will join governments and international partners to respond to the Ebola outbreak. “

Categories: Fora

Statement regarding interim findings of WHO assessment of deaths of children in Idleb Governorate, Syria

27. September 2014 - 2:18
A WHO assessment of the cause of the death of 15 children in rural Idleb, northern Syria has concluded that the most likely cause of the event was the incorrect use of a drug called Atracurium as a diluent for Measles/Rubella vaccine.

There is no evidence that the Measles/Rubella vaccine itself or its correct diluent were the cause of this tragic event.
Categories: Fora

Experimental therapies: growing interest in the use of whole blood or plasma from recovered Ebola patients (convalescent therapies)

25. September 2014 - 19:27
Ebola virus disease currently has no vaccines or medicines approved by national regulatory authorities for use in humans save for the purpose of compassionate care.

To date, the virus has infected 6242 people and killed 2909 of them. These figures, which are far greater than those from all previous Ebola outbreaks combined, are known by WHO to vastly underestimate the true scale of the epidemic.
Categories: Fora

World Heart Day 2014: salt reduction saves lives

25. September 2014 - 3:00
On World Heart Day, held 29 September, WHO is calling on countries to take action on the overuse of salt by implementing WHO’s sodium reduction recommendations to cut the number of people experiencing heart disease and stroke, and, in turn, save lives.

Noncommunicable diseases, including heart disease and stroke, are the leading causes of premature death in the 21st century. WHO is supporting governments to implement the "Global action plan to reduce noncommunicable diseases" that comprises nine global targets, including one to reduce global salt intake by a relative 30% by 2025.
Categories: Fora

Experimental therapies: growing interest in the use of whole blood or plasma from recovered Ebola patients (convalescent therapies)

24. September 2014 - 19:27
Ebola virus disease currently has no vaccines or medicines approved by national regulatory authorities for use in humans save for the purpose of compassionate care.

To date, the virus has infected 6,377 people and killed 2,803 of them.
Categories: Fora

Study warns swift action needed to curb exponential climb in Ebola outbreak

22. September 2014 - 3:00
Unless Ebola control measures in west Africa are enhanced quickly, experts from the WHO and Imperial College, London, predict numbers will continue to climb exponentially, and more than 20 000 people will have been infected by early November, according to a new article in the New England Journal of Medicine released 6 months after WHO was first notified of the outbreak in west Africa.

In the article, public health epidemiologists and statisticians reviewed data since the beginning of the outbreak in December 2013 to determine the scale of the epidemic, better understand the spread of the disease, and what it will take to reverse the trend of infections.
Categories: Fora

WHO statement on the second meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee regarding the 2014 Ebola outbreak in west Africa

22. September 2014 - 2:18
The second meeting of the Emergency Committee convened by the WHO Director-General under the IHR 2005 regarding the 2014 Ebola virus disease (EVD, or “Ebola”) outbreak in west Africa was conducted with members and advisors of the Emergency Committee through electronic correspondence from 16 September 2014 through 21 September 20141.

The following IHR States Parties provided an update on and assessment of the Ebola outbreak, including progress towards implementation of the Emergency Committee’s Temporary Recommendations2: Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Senegal.
Categories: Fora

WHO welcomes decision to establish United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response

19. September 2014 - 3:00
Nearly six months after the first case of Ebola in west Africa was reported to the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations (UN) General Assembly and the Security Council have approved resolutions creating the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) to contain the ongoing outbreak which has sickened more than 5,500 people and killed over 2,500.

“This is not just a public health crisis. This is a social crisis, a humanitarian crisis, an economic crisis and a threat to national security well beyond the outbreak zones,” said Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General, to the UN Security Council on Thursday. “For these reasons, Mr Secretary-General and I are calling for a UN-wide initiative that draws together all the assets of all relevant UN agencies."
Categories: Fora

WHO news on Ebola

17. September 2014 - 10:53


Categories: Fora

New data show child mortality rates falling faster than ever

16. September 2014 - 6:30
New data released today by the United Nations show that under-five mortality rates have dropped by 49% between 1990 and 2013. The average annual reduction has accelerated – in some countries it has even tripled – but overall progress is still short of meeting the global target of a two-thirds decrease in under-five mortality by 2015.

New estimates in "Levels and Trends in Child Mortality 2014" show that in 2013, 6.3 million children under five died from mostly preventable causes, around 200 000 fewer than in 2012, but still equal to nearly 17 000 child deaths each day.
Categories: Fora

WHO welcomes the extensive Ebola support from the United States of America

16. September 2014 - 2:00
WHO welcomes the contribution from the Government of the United States of America to significantly build upon their previous Ebola response in west Africa.

The new commitment provides support to the United Nations and to other international partners to help the Governments of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Senegal in their work to contain this outbreak.
Categories: Fora