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Published On: Tue, Apr 8th, 2014

WHO Ebola press conference: ‘We expect to continue seeing Ebola cases for some months’

“This is one of the most challenging Ebola outbreaks that we have ever faced.”

Sombering words from Assistant Director-General of the Health Security,  Dr. Keiji Fukuda during a press conference in Geneva earlier today (LISTEN).

ebola tweetThe reasons why this is one of the most challenging are two-fold, Fukuda notes. “First we see a wide geographic dispersion of cases”, he states. In addition, due to the lethality of Ebola, “These kind of outbreaks are filled with fear and anxiety, creating rumors and making communications challenging and important,””. Fukuda said that rumors on Ebola can be dangerous to people, likely prevent them from the actual proper protection.

“If they believe that eating onions or taking some kind of food is protective, this makes it less likely that they are going to be taking the kind of preventive measures that they need to do,” Fukuda said.

He confirmed that two countries have confirmed cases–Guinea and Liberia.

Fukuda expects to that Ebola cases will continue to be seen for another 2-4 months.

Lastly, he said Ebola is a severe disease, but also an infection that can be controlled.

Dr. Stéphane Hugonnet, a medical officer with WHO, who recently returned from the area, gave the latest numbers in west Africa–In Guinea, there have been 157 cases (67 cases confirmed) including 101 deaths. The capital city of Conakry.

In Liberia there have been 21 suspect cases, 10 deaths, and 5 were confirmed.

Elsewhere in the region, Hugonnet said there are two probable cases in Sierra Leone, no Ebola in Ghana and nine suspect cases in Mali and two have already been ruled out by the CDC.

Hugonnet called it an “international outbreak” despite only being confirmed in two countries to date.

LISTEN to the whole press conference here

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page and the Outbreak News This Week Radio Show page.

 

Follow me on Twitter @bactiman63

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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