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A Congolese health worker administers ebola vaccine to a child at the Himbi Health Centre in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, on July 17, 2019. Photo by Olivia Acland/Reuters

WHO declares Ebola outbreak a global public health emergency

GENEVA (AP) — The World Health Organization says the deadly Ebola outbreak in Congo is now an international health emergency after the virus spread this week to a city of 2 million people.

A WHO expert committee declined on three previous occasions to advise the United Nations health agency to make the declaration, but other experts say the outbreak has long met the conditions.

More than 1,600 people have died since August in the second deadliest Ebola outbreak in history, which is unfolding in a region described as a war zone.

This week the first Ebola case was confirmed in Goma, a major regional crossroads on the Rwandan border with an international airport. Experts have feared this for months.

A declaration of a global health emergency often brings greater international attention and aid.

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