Tuesday, 21 August, 2018

Ebola outbreak kills 17 in Congo: health ministry

Without preventative measures the virus can be fatal in up to 90 per cent of cases Without preventative measures the virus can be fatal in up to 90 per cent of cases John Wessels AFP Getty Images
Ivan Hill | 09 May, 2018, 07:52

Two people have died from ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and symptoms of haemorrhagic fever are being observed in 21 others.

Since 1976, this is the ninth outbreak of Ebola in Congo.

World Health Organization deputy director-general for emergency preparedness and response, Dr. Peter Salama, said, "Our top priority is to get to Bikoro [a neighboring province] to work alongside the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and partners to reduce the loss of life and suffering related to this new Ebola virus disease outbreak".

"Our top priority is to get to Bikoro to work alongside the government " the WHO's Peter Salama said in a statement.

Congolese authorities approved the use of an experimental new vaccine but did not deploy it during last year's outbreak that killed four people.

Many health facilities in the region rely on global assistance for both services and supplies.

According to a statement from the ministry, the team would go to Bikoro today to prevent the spread of this infection further.

Congo has had more recorded outbreaks of the disease than any other country. The latest is the DRC’s ninth
Congo has had more recorded outbreaks of the disease than any other country. The latest is the DRC’s

"We are going to collect extra samples, conduct contact tracing, have interaction the communities with messages on prevention and management, and put in place strategies for enhancing knowledge assortment and sharing", stated Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO's regional director for Africa. The organization released $1 million from a Contingency Fund for Emergencies in order to help stop the spread. Without preventive measures, the virus can spread quickly between people and is fatal in up to 90 per cent of cases.

The situation on the ground in Bikoro, situated along Lake Tumba in Equateur Province is particularly challenging, given its distance from the capital and the limited availability of health services, WHO said.

The Ikoko Impenge health facility, about 30 kilometres from Bikoro, has limited capabilities, relying on worldwide organisations, WHO said.

NAIJ.com had reported back on September 23, 2014, that the then minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu revealed that Nigeria was completely free of active Ebola cases.

Congo's government has declared a new outbreak of Ebola in the country's rural northwest.

That is often followed by vomiting and diarrhoea, skin eruptions, kidney and liver failure, and internal and external bleeding.

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