World Health Organization says DRC Ebola outbreak second largest in history

02 December, 2018, 20:03 | Author: Norman Carr
  • Congo's Ebola outbreak now 2nd largest in history WHO says

That includes 379 confirmed cases and 47 probable ones.

Congo has suffered 10 Ebola outbreaks since the virus was discovered there in 1976.

In 2013, the world witnessed the worst Ebola outbreak in Southern Guinea, from where it spread into neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone.

This clinical trial is the first-ever multi-drug trial for an Ebola treatment. Some field activities, including vaccination, were temporarily halted in Beni, the outbreak's epicenter, on November 17 following attacks by an armed rebel group.

Health workers had to be evacuated from their hotel after it was hit by a shell in a nearby armed rebel attack earlier this month.

"If the (US) ban were not in place the CDC would have a big and growing presence here", said Mearns, who worked closely with the CDC in the West Africa outbreak.

A Congolese health worker administers Ebola vaccine to a woman who had contact with an Ebola sufferer in the village of Mangina in North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo. "We will not rest until this outbreak is finished".

People are seeking help in makeshift clinics, some of which are just rooms in people's houses which don't have running water and reuse needles. "A sad toll, with too many families losing loved ones", tweeted Peter Salama, WHO's emergencies director.

'Probably more than 50 per cent of cases in Beni have been driven from these tradi-modern health care facilities, and the fact that hygiene and injection practices in these areas are relatively unsafe'.

Security concerns are real, Ebola responders say. The outbreak was declared on August 1.

'This epidemic remains unsafe and unpredictable, and we must not let our guard down, ' said Dr Kalenga. "Is there potential for requiring worldwide response?"

According to the ministry, nearly half of the 106 confirmed deaths were in the city of Beni which has a population of approximately 800,000 people. More than 26,000 people in the DRC have been inoculated in a "ring vaccination" policy in which those who have been in contact with an Ebola patient are vaccinated.

The WHO confirmed that starting today, health workers planned to go door-to-door for four days in the town of Beni, delivering mosquito nets and anti-malarial drugs to 450,000 people. The World Health Organisation (WHO) said children who went to health centres for malaria are believed to have contracted ebola there too, and about half of the people screened in ebola centres only had malaria.



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