January 19, 2019

World Health Organization preparing for the worst in DR Congo Ebola outbreak

11 May 2018, 06:47 | Silvia Roy

CREDIT Getty Images

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"And we know the number of suspected probable and confirmed cases is significant".

Two of those cases recorded are confirmed to be Ebola and there are also pending results of nine other cases which are suspected to be Ebola.

Ebola is one of the world´s most notorious diseases, being both highly infectious and extremely lethal.

The cases could be linked to a policeman in the Bikoro health zone who presented symptoms of hemorrhagic fever and died in December, Muyembe said.

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"It is an absolutely dire scene in terms of infrastructure", Salama said.

Also, the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) yesterday assured of its preparedness to detect and prevent the entry of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) at airports nationwide, having mobilised relevant agencies to step up surveillance.FAAN, which manages all the 22 Federal Government-owned airports across the country, said the agencies, including the Port Health Services, are collaborating effectively to ensure the safety of passengers and airport-users at all time.

The Government has deployed 101 health workers in all the entry points, following the Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo. The WHO was especially concerned about the possible spread to neighbouring Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic, which have connections to the affected area through the river systems.

At the same time, WHO and the World Food Programme are working to set up an "air-bridge" to help bring in the supplies needed, he said, adding though that only helicopters could be used until an airfield could be cleared to allow larger planes to land.

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Salama said World Health Organization is waiting for DR Congo authorities to approve the deployment of an experimental vaccine although he added the drug was not a magic bullet.

"This is going to be tough and it's going to be costly to stamp out this outbreak", he said.

Health workers who facilitate Ebola vaccinations.

"It is an experimental vaccine that has to be kept between negative 60 and negative 80 [degrees] Celsius".

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None of the Ebola outbreaks in DRC have been connected to the massive outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in West Africa that began in 2014 and left more than 11 300 dead. There are now no clinical vaccine candidates available that protect against all four human-pathogenic Ebola viruses.

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