Published: Fri, May 18, 2018
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

Ebola begins reaching cities in DRC

Ebola begins reaching cities in DRC

"In the past, in most of the Ebola outbreaks in DRC, it's been rural and fairly self-limited, but now we know that populations of more than a million are at risk", Salama said in Geneva.

The disease caused by Ebola virus was first zafiksirovano Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in urban areas, which may threaten further spread of the disease.

But the case in Mbandaka may be a game changer, as an urban environment makes it easier for the deadly virus to spread.

Mbandaka had three suspected cases in addition to the confirmed case.

The WHO is also deploying 30 experts to Mbandaka to "conduct surveillance in the city and is working with the Ministry of Health and partners to engage with communities on prevention and treatment and the reporting of new cases".

He said one sample proved positive for the deadly Ebola virus, bringing to three the number of confirmed Ebola cases in three health zones.

"With the new case confirmed in Mbandaka, the scenario has changed, and it has become most serious and worrying, since the disease is now affecting an urban area".

So far 23 people have reportedly died from the disease in the Congolese outbreak.

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Since the outbreak began, there has been a total of 45 cases: 14 confirmed, 21 probable and 10 suspected.

Congo's Ministry of Health has announced 11 new confirmed Ebola cases and two deaths tied to cases in the country's northwest.

The city of nearly 1.2 million is on the Congo River, a busy travel corridor in the vast country and upstream from the capital, Kinshasa, a city of about 10 million. "There is a fridge that will be prepared (on Thursday) ... in Mbandaka and that will be at -80°".

They are coordinating their efforts - and that includes not only tracking down and monitoring contacts of infected people, but a plan to give those contacts the experimental vaccine. "The potential for an explosive increase in cases is now there".

More doses of vaccine are expected to be shipped out, a World Health Organization spokesman said earlier in the week.

"But it is a cost that is worth investing now, because we know from Ebola West Africa experience that that cost the global community between $3-4 billion" in addition to the death toll, he said. Ebola is endemic in Congo, and this is the ninth outbreak of the disease there since the 1970s.

An outbreak in West Africa that began in 2014 left more than 11,000 dead across six countries, and was not declared officially over by World Health Organization until the beginning of 2016. The vaccine is thought to be effective against the Zaire strain of Ebola found in Congo. It will be used to protect healthworkers and "rings" of contacts around each case. "We are working closely with the Ministry of Health and the other organisations in the field to implement a coordinated, tailored and rapid response to stop the spread of Ebola". It can spread rapidly through contact with small amounts of bodily fluid, and its early flu-like symptoms are not always obvious.

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