Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Medical | By

Ebola: 362 people under surveillance in North West DRC

Ebola: 362 people under surveillance in North West DRC

The DRC has reported 39 suspected, probable or confirmed cases of Ebola between 4 April and 13 May, including 19 deaths. "It's a targeted vaccination for people who are identified as possible contacts of people who have been infected", Tari Jasarevic, a World Health Organization spokesperson, told DW.

"We are well aware of the outbreak in some parts of our neighbours, as the World Health Organisation reported".

The plan is to employ a ring vaccination approach, vaccinating anyone who has been in contact with a case to prevent continuing spread of the virus.

The WHO said it has obtained 4,000 doses of Ebola vaccine and is preparing for deployment in the DRC, its Africa director said on Sunday.

They also said a staggering 393 people who had come into contact with the epidemic were being followed up after an outbreak in Bikoro, Iboko and Wangata was confirmed.

The outbreak is now confined to the Bikoro, Iboko, and Wangata health zones, in Equateur province.

The nation is prone to Ebola outbreaks due to its close proximity to the Congo River. During his visit, the minister tweeted that laboratory staff from Kinshasa had already arrived in Bikoro to start identifying Ebola cases. The 2014-2016 outbreak in West Africa involved major urban areas as well as rural ones. Among the dead were three health-care workers. The 393 close contacts now under surveillance for symptoms of Ebola would likely be the first recipients of the vaccine. But the vaccine is still experimental as it does not have a licence.

"This is not a simple logistical effort; it's not like doing a polio campaign with oral polio vaccines, where we get it immediately out to the field".

At least 18 people have died in connection to the Ebola virus in the western Democratic Republic of Congo. "This is a highly complex sophisticated operation in one of the most hard terrains on Earth", Salama said. The virus spreads through bodily fluids, including vomit and blood. Bikoro hospital has sealed off a ward to diagnose suspected Ebola patients and provide treatment, according to UNICEF.

"Public health emergency of worldwide concern" means an extraordinary event which is determined, as provided in these Regulations: "(i) to constitute a public health risk to other States through the global spread of disease and (ii) to potentially require a coordinated worldwide response".

M-decins Sans Fronti-res has set up four five-bed mobile isolation units to increase the hospital bed capacity in Bikoro, which is now 15 beds.

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