World Health Organization eyes tough Ebola response, reports 2 new cases

12 May, 2018, 23:12 | Author: Joshua Bennett
  • Seventeen people in northwest Democratic

Emergency health workers attempting to halt an ebola outbreak in a remote region of the Democratic Republic of Congo are preparing for "the worst case scenario", fearing the deadly virus could spread to a city of one million people and then to neighbouring countries.

Kinshasa/ Nairobi/Geneva, 12 May 2018-A Red Cross team has deployed to Equateur province in north-western Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), bringing with them much needed stocks of life-saving equipment and supplies to prevent the further spread of Ebola.

It can be used to protect people who have had contact with Ebola victims, stopping the spread of disease, but that requires intensive contact tracing, which Salama said could take a week or two just for the cases already documented.

"We are very concerned and planning for all scenarios, including the worst case scenario", Mr Salama said.

The Ebola virus was first identified in the 1970s in DR Congo in a village near the Ebola River, which gave a name to the disease.

If you travel to or are in an area affected by an Ebola outbreak, the CDC says to make sure to avoid endemic areas.


In its latest Disease Outbreak News, WHO lists the risks to surrounding countries as moderate. The last death in the cluster was reported in February, and so far investigators haven't turned up an epidemiologic links between the previous and current outbreaks. Sickness is occurring in the Bikoro health zone, 400 kilometers (about 250 miles) from Mbandaka, the capital of Equator province. Eighteen people died as of Friday, including a nurse.

"We have isolated the patients", Ngalebato said.

Normally a remote setting would reduce the chance of the disease spreading. On average, about 50% of people who become ill with Ebola die. When we talk about Ebola virus now, the shadow of the 2014 West African epidemic hangs heavy as a warning of what can happen.

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.

World Health Organization says it's also deploying an experimental Ebola vaccine. They will also receive a leaflet with information about Ebola and contact numbers of the surveillance officers.

"Public health emergency of worldwide concern" means an extraordinary event which is determined, as provided in these Regulations: "(i) to constitute a public health risk to other States through the global spread of disease and (ii) to potentially require a coordinated worldwide response". During last year's outbreak, the country's government authorized the use of an experimental vaccine but the pilot scheme wasn't launched before the virus was contained.

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