Ebola outbreak in Congo: Are we better prepared this time?

Ebola Nigeria begins screening travelers at airports

Ebola Nigeria begins screening travelers at airports

The WHO says neighbouring countries have been alerted about the outbreak but that the risk of the disease spreading was "moderate". The Ebola outbreak in 2014 was the largest to date and affected multiple countries in West Africa including Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Most of the cases so far have been recorded around the village of Ikoko Impenge, near the northwestern town of Bikoro.

"However, early signs including the infection of 3 health workers, the geographical extent of the outbreak, the proximity to transport routes and population centres, and the number of suspected cases indicate that stopping this outbreak will be a serious challenge".

As of 11 May 2018, there are a total of 34 cases, with 18 deaths (case fatality rate 52.9%), among which two cases are confirmed, 14 suspected and 18 probable.

World Health Organization now has a team on the ground along with partner Médecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), and will invole an additional team of between 20-40 specialists in epidemiology, logistics, contact-tracing, and vaccination programmes, in the coming days.

The funds, he said, "in effect had the potential to function as something we very, very badly need, which is a contingency fund for significant large-scale disease outbreak". Despite it occurring outside an urban area, this particular outbreak may be harder to contain because it has already spread across 56 kilometres.

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While the opposition has gained ground, it faces an uphill battle to defeat a coalition that has never lost an election. The internet regulator blamed the attacks on "bots" (automated programmes) and said it would investigate.

Pierre Formenty, DVM, MPH, a WHO Ebola expert, told reporters that investigators already know funeral transmission has been an issue in the current outbreak and that anthropology experts, who help navigate cultural issues in outbreak settings, are among the first wave of the surge of WHO experts responding.

Médecins Sans Frontières says it is preparing response plan against Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Vaccinations cost $15-$20 per dose and 462 million people live in regions impacted by Ebola outbreaks.

The effort also requires a field epidemiology push to identify every case and every contact for vaccination, he said. The virus killed at least 11,000 people across six countries, including a single fatality in the U.S. The global response to that crisis was criticised for moving too slowly, prompting an apology from the WHO.

If you don't die from Ebola, you might suffer from long-term disability and stand the risk of being persistently infected with a chance of the disease reoccurring years later.

Binet said "the Congolese authorities, the World Health Organization, as well as MSF are already in discussion to have the vaccines available". A new experimental vaccine has been shown to be highly effective, though quantities are limited.

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