Congo Ebola Outbreak– World Health Organization has declared an outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Health Officials have set out to contain and battle the virus.
WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier has stressed the need to take the latest Congo Ebola outbreak seriously.
“It’s very important to find all the possible contacts of people who have been infected, who has been in contact, and see whether there is a possible continuation of infection and limit it as much as possible.”
The international health agency says epidemiologists, biologists and hygiene specialists have been dispatched to the Congo.
Also stamping the urgency of fighting the virus, the Health Ministry released a statement.
“Our country must confront an outbreak of the Ebola virus that constitutes a public health crisis of international significance,”
9 people were suspected to have contracted the deadly virus in Bas-Uele province, in the northeast of the country, in late April.
It was noticed that People began to get sick towards the end of April in Bas-Uele province. The region at risk is in the north-east of Kinshasa which is close to the border with the Central African Republic.
So far there has been 3 deaths and all tested positive to the virus.
A lab test conducted at the national laboratory in the capital Kinshasa confirms it was Ebola.
This will be one of the several outbreaks in Congo.
In 2014, the virus killed more than 40 people in the country. In West African countries like Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, over 11,000 people died in the Ebola outbreak.
As at last year, Liberia was the last country still battling with Ebola. By June 2016, WHO declared Liberia free of active Ebola virus transmission.
Speaking to the media, WHO Congo spokesman Eric Kabambi said:
“It is in a very remote zone, very forested, so we are a little lucky. But we always take this very seriously.”
Ebola is a viral illness with initial symptoms such as sudden fever, intense weakness, muscle pain and a sore throat.
The first time Ebola hit the DR Congo was in 1976 when it was formerly known as Zaire. Ever since there has been no less than 9 outbreaks.
The 2014 Ebola outbreak in Africa is said to be the worst in the continents history.
DR Congo with the series of outbreaks have been experienced in tackling the virus. During the outbreak 3 years ago, the country was able to bring the virus down to zero in 4 months; while some other West Africans took as long as 2 years.
Over time there has been medical advancements in the treatment of Ebola. Thus the recent Congo Ebola outbreak if fought with the help of international bodies would be easier as an Ebola vaccine has been developed.
According to Aljazeera:
“The GAVI global vaccine alliance said some 300,000 emergency doses of an Ebola vaccine developed by Merck could be available in case of a large-scale outbreak.”
“The vaccine, known as rVSV-ZEBOV, was shown to be highly protective against Ebola in clinical trials published last December.”