Wednesday, 18 July, 2018

Ebola cases on rise, reach 14 in DRC

AFP factfile on how the Ebola virus attacks AFP factfile on how the Ebola virus attacks
| 18 May, 2018, 16:02

She said the government will increase surveillance at points of entry and has already put in place rapid response teams and port health officers to detect any Ebola threats.

Meanwhile, humanitarian organisation Doctors without Borders has intensified its response to the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

It said the new death has epidemiologic ties to another case. The other death was a suspected case in Wangata, a suburb of Mbandaka on the Congo River, the ministry said.

Eleven new confirmed cases were reported in the Republic of Congo, which is confirmed by the local Ministry of health.

It raised its view of the risks after a case of Ebola was confirmed in the city of Mbandaka, which the agency said was "a large urban center located on major national and worldwide river, road and domestic air routes".

"If you remember from the previous outbreak, it took a whole lot for the worldwide community to understand it's a risky disease.Today it seems as if as soon as the first case was declared at least a lot of people are coming in to help", said Axelle Ronsse of the organisation.


In a related development, the first batch of 4,000 experimental Ebola vaccines to combat the outbreak Ebola arrived the DRC about 24-hours ago.

A ministry statement late Thursday said that the total number of Ebola cases is now 45, including 10 suspected, 21 probable and 14 confirmed. One nurse had died, and three others were among suspected cases since the outbreak began. It can spread rapidly through contact with small amounts of bodily fluid, and its early flu-like symptoms are not always obvious. World Health Organization noted that it continues to monitor travel and trade measures in relation to this event, and now there are no restrictions on global traffic in place. The Central African Republic and the Republic of Congo are close by.

The vaccine has been shown to be highly effective against Ebola. The virus is initially transmitted to people from wild animals, including bats and monkeys.

"As more evidence comes in of the separation of cases in space and time, and healthcare workers getting infected, and people attending funerals and then travelling quite big distances - it's got everything we would worry about", he told Reuters.

This is the ninth outbreak of Ebola in DR Congo - it was named after the country's Ebola river. The virus can be fatal in up to 90% of cases, depending on the strain.

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