Health experts in Congo identify two more suspected Ebola cases

Evrard Martin
Mai 14, 2017

"On 9 May, WHO was informed of a cluster of undiagnosed illness and deaths including haemorrhagic symptoms in Likati Health Zone, Bas Uele Province in the north of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), bordering Central African Republic".

According to WHO, the country's health minister requested the United Nations agency's support after one of five blood specimens tested positive for the Ebola virus disease. The country's health ministry was reported to have notified the world health body after laboratory tests confirmed it.

The country has fought seven outbreaks before the current one; the most recent was between August and November of 2014, and involved 66 cases.

"It is imperative that the United States and other countries be able to catch and respond to outbreaks at any time and we must be sure we're doing everything to prevent diseases from entering and spreading in the USA", said Duchin, an allergy and infectious diseases professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Washington's School of Public Health in Seattle.

He said explained that patients with more severe cases would show bleeding under the skin, internal organs or even from mouth and ears.

Describing the outbreak as "a public health crisis of global importance", the WHO said that teams of experts from UNICEF, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and Medecins Sans Frontieres will arrive in the country this weekend. Moreover, there will also need to protect health workers and educate the population about ways to prevent getting the deadly virus. During that outbreak, which was declared a "public health emergency of worldwide concern" by the WHO, the Western Hemisphere also saw its first Ebola patients. Since then, there have been at least nine outbreaks in the country.

The outbreak is not linked to previous Ebola flare-ups in Congo, nor the one that tore through West Africa in 2014, killing more than 11,000 people, said Tarik Jasarevic, a World Health Organization spokesman.

Forty-nine people died during the last outbreak of infection with the Ebola in the DRC in 2014. There are 300,000 doses of the vaccine "Gavi" available which health authorities say they'll use "if needed to stop this outbreak becoming a pandemic".

The trial took place in the coastal region of Basse-Guinée, the area of Guinea still experiencing new Ebola cases when the trial started in 2015. Two others may have also died from the disease.

"We were able to estimate the efficacy of the vaccine as being 100 percent in a trial", Ira Longini, a biostatistician at the University of Florida, told NPR's Michaeleen Doucleff last December.

In 2013, an Ebola crisis began in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

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