gpolit.com
gpolit.com May 24, 2018


Ebola virus outbreak RAVAGES Congo as death toll rises to 19

15 May 2018, 03:03 | Darrell Baldwin

Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki /FILE

Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki /FILE

From April 4 through May 13, 2018, a total of 39 cases have been reported, including three healthcare workers and 19 deaths. "As further information becomes available, the risk assessment will be reviewed", the health organization added.

The WHO has received approval to use an experimental Ebola vaccine, using a "ring vaccination" approach, around the epicenter of the oubreak in the Congo.

Vivian Nakaliika, Uganda's ministry of health spokesperson, told Xinhua that the results of samples taken from a male passenger travelling from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) en route to Kenya have tested negative of the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever.

The latest outbreak is occurring in the northwest of country, in the Bikoro health zone, 400 kilometers (about 250 miles) from Mbandaka, the capital of Equateur province.

The nation is prone to Ebola outbreaks due to its close proximity to the Congo River. However, two cases have so far been confirmed as Ebola.

The WHO was widely criticised for reacting too slowly to the 2014-16 epidemic in West Africa.

Plus healthcare workers have been infected, and Salama said infected healthcare workers can spread the virus to people they are caring for. In addition to an importation license, the World Health Organization needs formal agreement on the research protocols with the government and local ethical review board approval for reasons of liability, and legal and insurance issues associated with use of experimental products, he added.

"I just arrived in Kinshasa, DR Congo with the Regional Director for Africa, Dr Moeti Matshidiso and the WHO Deputy Director-General, Emergency Preparedness and Response, Dr Pete Salama".

"This is not a simple logistical effort; it's not like doing a polio campaign with oral polio vaccines, where we get it immediately out to the field". That work is vital both to encourage people to agree to be vaccinated and to figure out if any local practices are increasing the risk the virus will spread.

A cordon ribbon is seen around the isolation ward at Bikoro hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mobile laboratories have been sent to Mbandaka and Bikoro.

"Public health emergency of worldwide concern" means an extraordinary event which is determined, as provided in these Regulations: "(i) to constitute a public health risk to other States through the global spread of disease and (ii) to potentially require a coordinated worldwide response".



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