Monday, 12 November, 2018

Urgent Humanitarian Aid Dispatched to Contain Ebola Outbreak in DR Congo

Congo's Ebola risk 'very high' as confirmed virus cases rise Congo Confirms 14 More Ebola Virus Cases
Alonzo Parks | 18 May, 2018, 15:59

The UN health agency is deploying around 30 experts to conduct surveillance in Mbandaka and is working with the DRC's Ministry of Health advising communities on prevention, treatment and reporting of new cases.

Botswana has issued a travel advisory informing its citizens not to travel to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) following confirmation of 17 Ebola virus-related deaths and 21 suspected cases in that country last week.

It said the new death has epidemiologic ties to another case.

So far, 23 people have reportedly died and until Thursday, there were more than 40 suspected or confirmed cases.

Ilunga said of the current 25 deaths, only one has been confirmed as Ebola, adding that no new health professionals have been contaminated.

The Ebola cases were all located in the area around Bikoro, close to the Congo River, and around 150 km- about 95 miles - from the provincial capital Mbandaka, which is a busy port city.

Meanwhile, the public relations officer in the same ministry, Doreen Motshegwa, said their health officials are on high alert and have put measures in place to ward off the spread of the Ebola outbreak in the DRC. No details were given on the death's links to the newly confirmed case.

The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has spread to a city, the World Health Organisation said Thursday, raising concern the deadly virus may prove tougher to contain.

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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 current outbreak involves the same strain of the virus that hit three West African countries in 2013-15 and sparked an global panic.

Aid organization Doctors Without Borders said 514 people believed to have been in contact with infected people are being monitored.

The vaccine has been shown to be highly effective against Ebola.

Those exposed will for the first time in Congo receive Ebola vaccinations, the health minister said.

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

Similarly, the European Commission has released around 1.6 million euros (1.9 million dollars) to help tackle an Ebola outbreak in Congo, as well as organising flights to transport emergency staff and equipment to the affected areas. The virus can be fatal in up to 90 percent of cases, depending on the strain.

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