WHO raises Ebola health risk to ‘very high’ in DR Congo, not yet international emergency

Prior to the meeting, WHO raised the DRC’s Ebola health assessment risk to “very high.” Dr. Robert Steffen, the chairman of WHO’s Emergency Committee, said that 25 deaths have occurred and 45 cases have been reported, including three in health care personnel. Among the 45 cases, 14 have been confirmed, mostly in the remote Bikoro health zone, although there’s one confirmed case in Mbandaka, a city of 1.2 million. “The risk of international spread is particularly high since the city of Mbandaka is in proximity to the Congo river, which…

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Medical experts urge Canada to declare public emergency over opioid crisis

Members of the medical community and front-line soldiers in Canada’s opioid crisis are pressing the federal government to declare a national public health emergency. Dr. David Juurlink, head of pharmacology and toxicology at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, says the opioid problem is so dire it demands an urgent response at the highest levels of government. Politicians are meeting with public health experts, doctors and family members who have lost loved ones at a two-day summit in Ottawa to hash out a solution to escalating — and deadly — rates…

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