Congo Faces Another Ebola Outbreak After 18 Die, 2 Cases Confirmed

  • Congo Faces Another Ebola Outbreak After 18 Die, 2 Cases Confirmed

Congo Faces Another Ebola Outbreak After 18 Die, 2 Cases Confirmed

On Friday, the World Health Organization announced it is preparing for "the worst case scenario" in the new Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Health workers who facilitate Ebola vaccinations.

He said the affected region of the vast strife-torn central African country is very remote and hard to reach. During this time, there were 11 reported cases of the disease in the U.S. The virus is also spread through sexual contact. Healthcare workers are among those reported to be infected.

The last outbreak of the disease started in 2014 and touched Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Mali and Nigeria.

Ebola experts have various suspicions about why the DRC remains so vulnerable.

Only two cases have been confirmed as Ebola, by a laboratory in the capital Kinshasa.

"Once Ebola gets into urban areas, especially poor urban slums, it's extremely hard to get rid of the disease". There are no special precautions or directives for commercial flights‚ passengers or crew departing on flights bound for DRC or returning from DRC. Two of those cases are confirmed to be Ebola.

Bikoro health zone has a population of about 163,000, with three hospitals and 19 health centers, most with limited functionality, according to WHO.

If you don't die from Ebola, you might suffer from long-term disability and stand the risk of being persistently infected with a chance of the disease reoccurring years later.

"I want to assure Kenyans and all travelers to Kenya that there is no Ebola case reported in the country, and adequate measures have been put to place to ensure that the Ebola virus is not introduced or imported to the Country", said Balala. As such, the common procedure is to isolate any person who shows any of the symptoms to avoid further contamination.

"However, we will still be doing screening of visitors particularly those from West Africa", he said.

Researchers there used the same approach that was used to study smallpox, where they identify a "ring" of people who may have come into contact with an infected person, and then vaccinated all of those people after determining they may have been at risk. This would make it easier to pass on to other animals that live in trees. DRC is about the size of Greenland-almost a million square miles-and much of it has always been forested, notes Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.

Hygienists wearing protective suits disinfect the toilets of an Ebola treatment centre in DR Congo during an earlier outbreak. So what's different? The DRC has more robust Ebola surveillance and lab testing capacity in place, he says, and that may be a factor.

Six months after an Ebola outbreak was confirmed in West Africa in March 2014, the World Health Organization declared an global emergency and called for help. But the British and USA organizations are not yet part of the formal response on the ground.

"We check their passports to see whether they might have gone to DRC in the last 21 days".