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  • Statement regarding interim findings of WHO assessment of deaths of children in Idleb Governorate, Syria
    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.
  • Experimental therapies: growing interest in the use of whole blood or plasma from recovered Ebola patients (convalescent therapies)
    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.
  • World Heart Day 2014: salt reduction saves lives
    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.
  • Study warns swift action needed to curb exponential climb in Ebola outbreak
    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.
  • WHO statement on the second meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee regarding the 2014 Ebola outbreak in west Africa
    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.

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