Publicado: Sol, May 13, 2018
Salud | Por Gertrudes Rodriquez

Health workers fear ebola could spread from Congo

Health workers fear ebola could spread from Congo

Confirming the case in a chat with Reuters, the director of the main hospital in Democratic Republic of Congo's northwestern town of Bikoro said the health Centre received a new case.

Tedros said he's in contact with the country's health minister and has assured him that "we're ready to do all that's needed to stop the spread of Ebola quickly".

Chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines can also become infected with Ebola, which makes them potential vectors for transmission if they are killed, butchered and eaten.

The average fatality rate is around 50 percent, varying from 25 percent to 90 percent, according to the WHO.

This is the ninth Ebola outbreak in Congo since 1976, when the deadly disease was first identified.

Officials are concerned about the virus reaching Mbandaka, the capital of Equateur province, Medical Xpress reported. Two out of five samples collected tested positive for a Zaire strain of Ebola.

"That seems to me to be about as fast as you can reasonably expect", said Jimmy Whitworth, a specialist in epidemiology and public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. There is no specific treatment for Ebola, which is spread through the bodily fluids of people exhibiting symptoms.

"It is absolutely a dire scene in terms of infrastructure". Bikoro has a population of about 163,000 spread over an area of approximately 1,075 square kilometers (415 square miles).

Donald Trump on Tuesday announced cuts of $252 million in Ebola response funds, which he called part of a move to end "irresponsible spending".

"I think we will need three months to control [this new] outbreak".

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Using the vaccine to contain the current outbreak poses several challenges.

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.

The Wellcome funding will be made available to the DRC government and the World Health Organization as they seek to contain the outbreak's spread.

At least 17 deaths in the region over the past five weeks, presumably linked to the outbreak, but has not been confirmed as Ebola cases.

The lessons learned during the West Africa outbreak, as well as previous outbreaks in DRC, will be key.

He said the World Health Organization had alerted the nine neighbouring countries but now regarded the risk of regional spread as "moderate".

It comes after Ebola fears prompted emergency measures in Nigeria across the border.

"It is too early to judge the extent of this outbreak", said Dr Peter Salama, WHO Deputy Director-General for Emergency Preparedness and Response.

He told a United Nations briefing in Geneva that he hoped the Democratic Republic of Congo would deploy an "experimental vaccine".

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