Thursday, 19 July, 2018

Congo Faces Another Ebola Outbreak After 18 Die, 2 Cases Confirmed

Mass vaccination not enough to prevent Ebola outbreak Mass vaccination not enough to prevent Ebola outbreak
Francis Osborne | 12 May, 2018, 23:14

To date there have been 32 suspected cases in and around Bikoro in remote Equateur Province - close to the Congo River - two confirmed by laboratory testing.

WHO has provided technical and operations support to the Ministry of Health and Partners in the activation of multi-partner multi-agency Emergency Operations Centre to coordinate the response at all levels.

"We are very concerned and planning for all scenarios, including the worst case scenario", Peter Salama, WHO's Deputy Director-General of Emergency Preparedness and Response, told a regular United Nations briefing in Geneva. Also, he noted that three healthcare workers have been sickened in the outbreak, one of them fatally, and that infections in healthcare workers can amplify the spread of the disease.

The Ministry of Health affirms that there is NO case of Ebola in the country.

"Community volunteers and groups are critical to stopping the spread of disease, especially in isolated areas, such as the epicentre of this current outbreak", said Dr Nafo-Traoré.

Of these, two tested positive for Ebola virus, Zaire ebolavirus species, by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) on 7 May 2018 and the outbreak was officially declared on 8 May 2018.

Tedros said the organisation is working with its partners to send more staff, equipment, and supplies to the affected area. All of the deaths occurred before the outbreak was confirmed.

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"This situation worries us and requires a very immediate and energetic response", he said at a news conference.

Ebola virus disease, which most commonly affects people and nonhuman primates such as monkeys, gorillas and chimpanzees, is caused by one of five Ebola viruses.

The Wellcome funding will be made available to the DRC government and the World Health Organization as they seek to contain the outbreak's spread.

After the catastrophic 2014 outbreak, Obama went to Congress and passed a $5.4 billion package of funding for dealing with any possible Ebola outbreak.

The World Health Organization said on Friday it hopes to deploy an experimental Ebola vaccine to tackle an outbreak in a remote area of Congo to prevent it spreading. The side effects were mostly mild. Ebola is fatal in about 50 per cent of cases. "I'm in contact in the Minister of health and have assured him that we're ready to do all that's needed to stop the spread of Ebola quickly". "This is a highly complex sophisticated operation in one of the most hard terrains on earth", he said.

They added there's no specific treatment for the deadly virus, but a new experimental vaccine has been shown to be highly effective.

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