Surveillance stepped up amid DRC Ebola outbreak


In a statement, Congo's Health Minister, Oly Ilunga, said: "One of the defining features of this epidemic is the fact that three health professionals have been affected".

17 people are reported to have died from the latest outbreak in the town since December past year, according to the country's health ministry.

Over the last four decades, the Democratic Republic of Congo has experienced eight Ebola outbreaks. World Health Organization still needs DRC's final authorisation, which is expected in the coming days, Dr. Peter Salama, the agency's emergencies chief, told reporters in Geneva. "This situation worries us and requires an immediate and energetic response".

Kenya will not cancel flights from the Democratic Republic of Congo despite a reported Ebola outbreak in the country's northwestern Bikoro region. A new suspected case was reported on Friday.

Congo reported the outbreak on Tuesday, with 32 suspected, probable or confirmed cases of the disease since April 4, including 18 deaths. "The reservoir [animal] is in DRC, Gabon and the Republic of [the] Congo", he says. Those who help bury or clean the bodies of the infected are also at high risk. Of these, two tested positive for Ebola virus, Zaire ebolavirus species, by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) on 7 May 2018 and the outbreak was officially declared on 8 May 2018.

The WHO has also put Congo's nine neighbours on high alert, with most concern for Congo Republic, which shares a long border with it on the Congo and Ubangi rivers, and Central African Republic to the north, although the risk of global spread was still seen as low.

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The risk of an Ebola outbreak in the United Kingdom remains negligible, it added.

Just seven people died of Ebola in Nigeria in 2014 out of 19 confirmed cases, whereas the disease killed over 11,000 elsewhere in west Africa, and the country was commended for its response to the disease.

It has been revealed that over 80 per cent of the population will be needed to get immunised to prevent outbreak of the disease.

Symptoms of Ebola include fever, severe headache, muscle pain, diarrhea, vomiting and unexplained bruising or bleeding.

Generally, an Ebola outbreak begins when humans encounter an infected animal, then spreads among humans through direct contact with blood or other bodily fluids. The WHO is planning to approve the deployment of that experimental vaccine soon, but it's not yet clear how effective it will be. It can be transmitted via sexual contact.