Three deaths linked to new ebola outbreak in Congo

Barsaba Taglieri
Mag 15, 2017

About 50 percent of people who contract Ebola virus disease die from it, writes the World Health Organization, though that number can vary depending on the outbreak.

It was not immediately clear how the first victim, a deceased male, caught the virus, although past outbreaks have been linked to contact with infected bush meat such as apes.

More than 11,000 died in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone between 2014 and 2015.

Nigeria's Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, has called for heightened vigilance and intensified awareness efforts on symptoms of hemorrhagic fevers following the outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The outbreak could test a recently developed experimental ebola vaccine that World Health Organization says could be used in emergencies.

WHO said that together with its partners it was supporting the DRC's Ministry of Health "in all aspects of the response, including epidemiological investigation, surveillance, logistics and supplies, communications and community engagement" with respect to the measures needed to combat the spread of Ebola.

The 2014 outbreak in DRC was unconnected to the epidemic in West Africa, which killed thousands and became the worst Ebola outbreak on record.

The Alliance For International Medical Action said in a statement one of its teams was on its way to Likati with protective gear and medicine to treat "suspected and confirmed cases".

A World Health Organisation (WHO) official, Eugene Kabambi, told The Citizen on Sunday through yesterday that the DR Congo outbreak has occurred in a very remote and forested village in Lower Uele (Bas Uele) Province. The DRC outbreak was near the Ebola River, from which the disease takes its name. Latest update on #Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo #DRC https://t.co/7QGBEWSs2K #alert- WHO (@WHO) May 12, 2017 This is the 8th outbreak to hit the Congo, that's more any other country.

DR Congo's health ministry on Friday confirmed the outbreak of an Ebola epidemic in its northern region. Clinical trials of an experimental vaccine are ongoing in West Africa.

The Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC), which Duchin described as the USA "mothership" for handling such epidemics, defines Ebola as a rare and deadly disease spread by direct contact with blood or body fluids of a person infected with the Ebola virus, or by contact with a contaminated object or infected animal.

"This trial, confirming the 100 percent efficacy of the rVSV Ebola vaccine, is a simply remarkable outcome", Dr. Jeremy Farrar, the director of the Wellcome Trust, said of the research.

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