Published: Fri, May 11, 2018
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

World Health Organization hopes to deploy vaccine after fresh Ebola outbreak in DR Congo

World Health Organization hopes to deploy vaccine after fresh Ebola outbreak in DR Congo

World Health Organisation bosses have said they are preparing for the worst case scenario over the initial outbreak in a remote area of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Bikoro Hospital director Dr Serge Ngalebato told The Associated Press earlier Thursday that nurses at the hospital were among the five suspected Ebola cases there.

The outbreak in DR Congo resulted in 19 suspected cases out of which 16 died. Past year eight cases were reported, and half of the infected people died.

Prevention includes limiting the spread of the disease from infected animals to humans. Bikoro has a population of about 163,000 spread over an area of approximately 1,075 square kilometers (415 square miles).

Wellcome Trust is providing two million pounds sterling for the critical research needed to support the operational response which is now underway in the country.

Information is now limited and investigations are ongoing to assess the full extent of the outbreak.

Following the outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Federal government has activated surveillance activities cross the country to detect and prevent any outbreak of the disease.To this end, letters of alert have been sent to all states to enhance surveillance activities and an advisory note for the general public.

Thanks to their quick response, the efforts of WHO, DRC, and its partners to minimize the impact of the outbreak were successful.

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Whitworth said the situation was worrying, but Congo may be better prepared to detect and manage Ebola than other countries since it has had more experience.

The WHO is moving quickly, having been criticized for bungling its response to a 2014-2016 outbreak that killed more than 11,300 people in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Eleven people are now confirmed to be infected with the highly infectious virus in the DRC, including three medical staff.

This could have a benefit since it could slow down the spread of Ebola, but it also greatly complicates the response.

It comes after Ebola fears prompted emergency measures in Nigeria across the border.

Congo notified the World Health Organization of the outbreak on May 8, and there have been about 32 suspected, probable or confirmed cases of the deadly disease since April 4, including 18 deaths, according to WHO's deputy director-general of emergency preparedness and response.

The top doc warned however this was not a "magic bullet" and said they are preparing for the "worse case scenario".

The overall risk at the regional level is considered moderate because of the proximity to the Congo river, which links with both the capitals of the Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic.

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