Ebola spreads in DRC

18 May, 2018, 09:29 | Author: Sherman Richardson
  • Congo's Ebola risk 'very high' as confirmed virus cases rise

"What we're saying though is that urban Ebola is very different phenomenon to rural Ebola because we know that people in urban areas can have far more contacts so that means that urban Ebola can result in an exponential increase in cases in a way that rural Ebola struggles to do".

It's the Central African nation's ninth Ebola outbreak since 1976 when scientists first identified the deadly virus.

The city of about one million people is a transport hub on the Congo River, prompting fears that the virus could now spread further, threatening the capital Kinshasa and surrounding countries.

The global response to the current Congo outbreak has been substantial, and is expected to grow in size and urgency after the announcement of a confirmed urban case.

Last week, a top World Health Organization official warned that if the virus reached Mbandaka, the DRC could be confronted with yet another Ebola crisis.

The World Health Organization, which earlier this week deployed 4,000 doses of experimental vaccine along with emergency teams and equipment to the Congo to control the outbreak, described the situation as "a concerning development". The ministry said no new health professionals had been contaminated.

Health officials said the newest case was worrying.

Health workers are sprayed with chlorine after leaving an isolation ward with suspected Ebola patients at Bikoro Hospital - the epicenter of the latest Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Until now, the cases and deaths were reported from the rural Bikoro health zone, almost 150 kilometers from Mbandaka, allowing authorities to attempt ring-fencing vaccinations in the the affected areas.

Ebola epidemics in Africa 1976-2017
Ebola epidemics in Africa 1976-2017

An infected person is estimated to have between 100-150 "contacts" with other people per day, a figure that may be higher in densely populated areas, Jasarevic added.

The latest Ebola case in the Democratic Republic of Congo comes amid an outbreak of violence that has spread rapidly in the country's restive Kasai region.

The agency said yesterday it was deploying around 30 experts to Mbandaka "to conduct surveillance in the city", including rapid efforts to trace all contacts of the new urban case.

The post Ebola vaccine arrives in DR Congo amid outbreak appeared first on The Independent Uganda:. On average, about 50% of people who become ill with Ebola die.

How "experimental" is this Ebola vaccine?

West Africa experienced the largest recorded outbreak of Ebola over a two-year period beginning in March 2014; a total of 28,616 confirmed, probable and suspected cases were reported in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with 11,310 deaths, according to the WHO.

It can also be introduced into the human population through contact with the blood, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals.

A concurrent but much smaller and unrelated Ebola outbreak took place in Congo in 2014 as well. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain and at times internal and external bleeding.

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