Friday, 17 August, 2018

World Health Organization says Ebola outbreak has spread to DR Congo city

Congo's Ebola risk 'very high' as confirmed virus cases rise Congo Confirms 14 More Ebola Virus Cases
Becky Salazar | 18 May, 2018, 16:04

Kinshasa, May 18:The number of confirmed Ebola cases of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has risen to 14 after the Health Ministry announced 11 new confirmed cases and one new related death.

Giving reasons why it was not safe for her compatriots to travel to DRC, the Director of Health services Dr Khumo Seipone said Ebola is a highly contagious and virulent disease that now has no cure. Ebola is a highly infectious disease spread through contact with even small amounts of bodily fluid of an infected person. A newly confirmed case in a densely populated part of the country will complicate attempts to control the outbreak, the statement said.

An Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of the Congo has a high risk of spreading internally, the World Health Organization warned Friday ahead of a meeting on whether to declare it an event of worldwide concern. But "urban Ebola can result in an exponential increase in cases in a way that rural Ebola struggles to do". Another lethal case in Wangata on Thursday was a suspected one, Xinhua news agency reported.

Commissioner Stylianides has been closely monitoring the situation and has been in contact with the WHO General Director Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

There has been one new death in Bikoro, where the first death took place.

The WHO is sending 7,540 doses of an experimental vaccine to try to stop the outbreak in its tracks, and 4,300 doses have already arrived in Kinshasa.

The WHO revised its assessment of the risk of spread of the epidemic to "very high" at the national level and "high" for neighboring countries. The Central African Republic and the Republic of Congo are close by.

The Health Ministry also informed that the vaccine which is still not licensed but proved effective during limited trials in West Africa will go in use from the weekend. One challenge will be keeping the vaccine cold in a region with poor infrastructure and patchy electricity. The virus was initially transmitted to people from wild animals, including bats and monkeys.

Peter Salama, in charge of emergency response at the World Health Organization, has said the spread to a city complicated the fight against Ebola, which depends on identifying and isolating suspected cases.

Many of these people were in remote areas, Mr Salama said.

This is the ninth outbreak of Ebola in DR Congo - it was named after the country's Ebola river.

First symptoms generally include the sudden onset of fever, fatigue, muscle pain, headache and sore throat, and this is followed by vomiting and diarrhoea.

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