Ebola outbreak: World Health Organization adopts measures to support DR Congo

Jane Richards
May 24, 2017

The World Health Organization says the Democratic Republic of the Congo is again facing an outbreak of the contagious and deadly Ebola virus.

One case of the hemorrhagic fever was confirmed out of the five tested since the outbreak emerged April 22 in Bas-Uele province, Health Minister Oly Ilunga Kalenga said.

"Our country must confront an outbreak of the Ebola virus that constitutes a public health crisis of global significance", the ministry said in a statement. The 1,400-kilometer (870-mile) route from Kinshasa to Likati is remote and isolated with limited transportation networks, requiring two to three days of travel.

Health authorities are also looking into a total of nine suspected cases.

Dr Allarangar Yokouide, WHO's representative in Congo, said the first teams of specialists should arrive in the affected area of Likati on Saturday.

He further estimated that 125 people had been linked to the confirmed Ebola cases and urged the public to be vigilant and visit their doctor if they experience fever or other symptoms. The CDC has a team in the country working on a monkeypox vaccine trial, she said.

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"Two contacts of this case are being investigated: a person who took care of him during transport to the health care facility, he has since developed similar symptoms, and a moto-taxi driver who transported the patient to the health care facility", it said, adding that the taxi driver had died.

The virus, which has been known to be transferred through infected bush meat coming from animals like apes, first was detected in 1976 in a dense forest region that contained the River Ebola.

Meanwhile, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has assured citizens of adequate surveillance at the nation's airports following the outbreak of Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

More than 11,000 people died in the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014-2015, mainly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

He has also sought the support of the World Health Organization to strengthen the response to this epidemic.

"On November 20, 2014, in line with WHO recommendations, the DRC Ministry of Health and WHO declared the end of the Ebola virus disease outbreak that started on August 24, 2014".

Other reports by VgToday

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