Outbreaks of deadly Ebola virus ‘new normal’, warns WHO
The world is entering a “new phase” where big outbreaks of devastating diseases are normal, the WHO claims.
Previous Ebola outbreaks affected relatively small numbers of people.
But the Democratic Republic of Congo is witnessing the second largest outbreak ever only three years after the world’s largest one ended.
Executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies programme, Dr Michael Ryan, said: “We are entering a very new phase of high impact epidemics and this isn’t just Ebola.”
According to Dr Ryan, the world is “seeing a very worrying convergence of risks” that increase the dangers of deadly diseases including Ebola, cholera and yellow fever.
Climate change, emerging diseases, exploitation of the rainforest, large and highly mobile populations, weak governments and conflict is making outbreaks more likely to occur and increase in size than they used to.
Speaking to the BBC, Dr Ryan added: “I don’t think we’ve ever had a situation where we’re responding to so many emergencies at one time.
“This is a new normal, I don’t expect the frequency of these events to reduce.”