19 dead, 39 infected so far in Congo Ebola outbreak

Of the 39 cases of Ebola reported since April 5, two have been confirmed using laboratory tests.

Yesterday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, MD, traveled to the DRC, and he tweeted about visiting a hospital in Bikoro and observing the outbreak response.

"We have agreement, registration, plus import permit, everything formally agreed already", Tedros told reporters. "All is ready now to really use it".

Since the publication of the first Disease Outbreak News on the Ebola outbreak in Equateur province, Democratic Republic of the Congo on 10 May 2018, an additional seven suspected cases have been notified by the country's Ministry of Health.

The last outbreak was past year.

More than 11,000 people died and some 28,000 cases were reported in an Ebola outbreak in West Africa between 2014 and 2015. Plus, WHO said, the DRC is relatively well-prepared to handle Ebola.

The WHO said it has obtained 4,000 doses of Ebola vaccine and is preparing for deployment in the DRC, its Africa director said on Sunday.

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Last week Daily Star Online revealed that World Health Organization were preparing for the "worst case scenario".

The WHO has put Congo's nine neighbouring countries on high alert, especially the Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic due to their connected river systems. Currently, WHO considers the public health risk to be high at the national level, moderate at the regional level, and low at the global level. Towards the end of the crisis, people were treated with antibodies of survivors.

The disease is believed to be hosted by bats but the blood and bodily fluids of animals is how the disease is thought to have transmitted to humans. Three healthcare workers are reportedly also sickened with the disease. Mbandaka, with a population of about 1 million people, is also reachable from Bikoro by water. It takes 15 days to get to the area by motorbike, so Salama said officials were talking about coordinating helicopter flights and clearing a runway for plans to land.

World Health Organization and the medical group Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF or Doctors Without Borders) were setting up a lab and a clinic, Salama said.

This would mean that when a new Ebola case is diagnosed, all people who might have been in recent contact with them are traced and vaccinated to try and prevent the disease's spread. However, two cases have so far been confirmed as Ebola.

To date, 393 contacts have been identified and are being followed-up. The outbreak is in a remote part of the country, where delivering the vaccine will be a challenge because it must be kept frozen.

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