Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

WHO Teams Working To Combat Ebola Outbreak in DRC

Map of the Democratic Republic of Congo locating a new outbreak of Ebola virus near the town of Bikoro on the shores of Lake Tumba in the north-western Equateur province DRC: Ebola Cases Confirmed in Bikoro, Equator Province
Johnnie Parks | 10 May, 2018, 15:28

Mass vaccination programmes will not help prevent new Ebola virus outbreaks, a study has found. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that these diseases be ruled out before diagnosis of Ebola virus.

Health Minister Isaac Adewole says from the experience gained then, they're tightening vigilance at all entry points especially airports and screening passengers.

This leads to the possibility of the game not holding to avoid the disease spreading to Nigeria.

A timespan as long as five months since the first infection would be alarming, since it gives the virus a head start in infecting lots of people before action was taken to contain it. In the announcement, Muyembe said that there are at least ten cases suspected meaning that there could be cases announced later.

This is the ninth Ebola outbreak in Congo since 1976, when the deadly disease was first identified.

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None of the Ebola outbreaks in DRC was connected to the massive outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in West Africa that began in 2014 and left more than 11 300 dead. It can be spread through direct contact with another person's blood or body fluids which includes urine, saliva, sweat, feces, vomit, breast milk, and semen, objects that have come in contact with body fluids from an infected person, infected fruit bats and primates, and possibly contact with semen from a man who recovered from Ebola. Without preventive measures, the virus can spread quickly between people and is fatal in up to 90 percent of cases.

Dr Peter Salama said: "Our top priority is to get to Bikoro to work alongside the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and partners to reduce the loss of life and suffering related to this new Ebola virus disease outbreak".

Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO Regional Director for Africa, said: "We know that addressing this outbreak will require a comprehensive and coordinated response".

In Geneva, the World Health Organization (WHO) said it was working closely with the government in Kinshasa to "rapidly scale up its operations and mobilize health partners, using the model of a successful response to a similar...outbreak in 2017". It will also provide needed supplies.

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