WHO Director Will Visit Congolese Areas Affected by Ebola
09 November, 2018, 14:12
The Ebola outbreak in conflict-ridden Congo has become so serious that global public health experts need to consider the possibility that it can not be brought under control and instead will become entrenched, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield says.
The Ebola virus is spread through direct contact with the fluids of an infected person, or objects that have been contaminated with infected secretions.
Contact tracing is still of concern due to insecurity and persistent community resistance. The infection killed 11,000 died in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea and infected 28,000 in the period between 2014 and 2016.
As of November 4, DRC had registered a total of 285 Ebola cases, with a total of 200 deaths.
The deteriorating security situation in the DRC has complicated efforts to get the Ebola outbreak under control across the country, local populations and humanitarian workers assisting them have come under attacks by armed groups, necessitating the deployment of a large United Nations peacekeeping mission.
Besides militia attacks that have hindered health workers, the region's high population density and movements across the borders to Uganda and Rwanda pose additional risks that the highly lethal fever disease could spread in the region.
The World Health Organization and Ugandan Health Ministry are inoculating at least 2,100 workers, the ministry announced.
There are so far 239 confirmed cases in DRC in the latest flare-up, and 174 people have died from the disease. Under this approach, all the people who have been in contact with an Ebola patient are vaccinated, and then people who have been in contact with those contacts are also vaccinated. It's a war zone, with militant groups battling the government for control of various regions.
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In mid-October, the World Health Organization said it was "deeply concerned" by the outbreak, but the situation did not yet warrant being declared a global emergency. The conflict threatens health workers trying to battle the virus."I can not access entire villages".
Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam, WHO's Uganda representative said, "In previous [Ebola] outbreaks, Uganda lost health workers, including the renowned Dr Matthew Lukwiya, as they cared for patients".
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