WHO / HEPATITIS EBOLA COVID-19

26-Apr-2022 00:05:31
According to the World Health Organization, 169 cases of acute hepatitis of unknown origin have been reported from 11 countries, and 2 Ebola cases in DRC. Tedros also said that globally, reported cases of COVID-19 continue to decline, but the virus is “still spreading, it’s still changing, and it’s still killing.” WHO
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STORY: WHO / HEPATITIS EBOLA COVID-19
TRT: 5:31
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 26 APRIL 2022, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / FILE
SHOTLIST
FILE – GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Wide shot, WHO headquarters, exterior

26 APRIL 2022, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. Med shot, press room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
"Over the weekend, WHO released an update about cases of acute hepatitis of unknown origin among children. So far, at least 169 cases of acute hepatitis have been reported from 11 countries in Europe, and in the United States, in children aged from 1 month to 16 years. Seventeen children – about 10 percent of the reported cases – have required liver transplants, and one death has been reported. The symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, jaundice, severe acute hepatitis, and increased levels of liver enzymes. The viruses that commonly cause acute viral hepatitis have not been detected in any of these cases. Adenovirus has been detected in at least 74 cases, and this and other hypotheses are being explored."
4. Med shot, press room
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
"Also, over the weekend, health authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo declared an outbreak of Ebola after a case was confirmed in Mbandaka, a city in the north-western Equateur Province of DRC. A second case was confirmed today in a relative of the first patient. Unfortunately, both patients have died. WHO is supporting the government to scale up testing, contact tracing, and public health measures. Stockpiles of Ebola vaccines in Goma and Kinshasa are now being transported to Mbandaka so that vaccination can start."
6. Med shot, press room
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
"Now to COVID-19. Globally, reported cases and deaths continue to decline, which is very encouraging and good news. Last week, just over 15,000 deaths were reported to WHO – the lowest weekly total since March 2020. This is a very welcome trend, but it’s one that we must welcome with some caution. As many countries reduce testing, WHO is receiving less and less information about transmission and sequencing. This makes us increasingly blind to patterns of transmission and evolution. But this virus won’t go away just because countries stop looking for it. It’s still spreading, it’s still changing, and it’s still killing."
8. Med shot, press room
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
"In October last year, the ACT Accelerator launched a new Strategic Plan and Budget – and yet halfway through its current budget cycle, just over 10% has been funded. The pandemic is not over, and neither is the work of the ACT Accelerator. We recognize that we live in a world with multiple overlapping crises and multiple demands for funding. Governments can find plenty of money for tools that take lives; we call on all countries to invest in tools that save lives."
10. Med shot, press room
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Maria Van Kerkhove, COVID-19 Technical lead, Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization (WHO):
"We are seeing some positive trends, and certainly we are seeing positive trends in the reduction in deaths around the world. And I have confidence in that, in terms of the reports of hospitalization, the reports of deaths around the world. But I have little confidence in the number of cases being reported around the world. The sheer fact that we have had massive changes in testing strategies, huge reductions in the numbers of tests being used around the world. We have very little confidence in what we are actually seeing in the trends in terms of cases."
12. Med shot, press room
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Philippa Easterbrook, Scientist, Global HIV, Hepatitis and STIs Programmes, World Health Organization (WHO):
"I think it's important to emphasize that the causes of the cases remain very much under active investigation. We're looking at a range of possible underlying factors, both infectious and non-infectious, that may be causing the cases. And these investigations are continuing in both the existing cases, as well as new cases from the countries that have already reported, as well as new countries that are beginning to report."
14. Med shot, press room
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Philippa Easterbrook, Scientist, Global HIV, Hepatitis and STIs Programmes, World Health Organization (WHO):
"It does appear that none of the common viruses that cause acute hepatitis, that is, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and hepatitis E, have been detected in any of the cases. And similarly, none of the common bacteria or bugs that cause stomach upsets and gastroenteritis in children have also been detected. And then, from the questionnaires that have been administered across the countries, there doesn't appear to be any clear link to a particular food or common exposure, such as to a drug or to travel. And importantly, there is nothing to suggest a link to the COVID vaccine, as the vast majority of the children did not receive the COVID vaccine."
16. Med shot, press room
STORYLINE
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 169 cases of acute hepatitis of unknown origin have been reported from 11 countries, and 2 Ebola cases in DRC. Tedros also said that globally, reported cases of COVID-19 continue to decline, but the virus is “still spreading, it’s still changing, and it’s still killing.”

Briefing reporters today (26 Apr) in Geneva, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO’s Director-General, said that “The viruses that commonly cause acute viral hepatitis have not been detected in any of these cases. Adenovirus has been detected in at least 74 cases, and this and other hypotheses are being explored."

Over the weekend, health authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) declared an outbreak of Ebola after a case was confirmed in Mbandaka. A second case was confirmed today in a relative of the first patient.

“Unfortunately, both patients have died. WHO is supporting the government to scale up testing, contact tracing, and public health measures. Stockpiles of Ebola vaccines in Goma and Kinshasa are now being transported to Mbandaka so that vaccination can start," Tedros said.

On COVID-19, he said that last week, “just over 15,000 deaths were reported to WHO – the lowest weekly total since March 2020.” A trend “that we must welcome with some caution,” said WHO’s chief.

He explained that as many countries “reduce testing, WHO is receiving less and less information about transmission and sequencing. This makes us increasingly blind to patterns of transmission and evolution. But this virus won’t go away just because countries stop looking for it."

He also noted that "In October last year, the ACT Accelerator launched a new Strategic Plan and Budget – and yet halfway through its current budget cycle, just over 10% has been funded.”

The two-year impact report for the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator was created to develop and equitably deliver vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics to those that need them the most.

The report details impact, case studies, and timelines of critical milestones for the Diagnostics, Therapeutics, and Vaccines pillars and the Health Systems and Response Connector.

The report also looks ahead at the partnership's push to close its urgent financing gap. It focuses on ensuring access to scarce tools, scaling up delivery and uptake in countries, and informing deliberations on the future global health security architecture.
COVID-19 can only be downgraded as a global threat once vaccines and new antivirals are rolled out equitably, with robust systems of testing and sequencing built up, so new variants can be detected early, and responses quickly adapted.

The report emphasizes the need for countries to act in solidarity to end the acute phase of the pandemic and highlights the ACT-Accelerator's vital work in making this happen.
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