FG activates response on Ebola outbreak nationwide
May 12 2018
Health Minister Isaac Adewale late on Wednesday said the cabinet had ordered his ministry to step up emergency surveillance at all land and airport borders, with a particular emphasis on screening people visiting from Congo.
This is DRC's ninth outbreak of Ebola haemorrhagic fever since the discovery of the virus in the country in 1976.
When news broke this week that the Democratic Republic of the Congo is facing yet another Ebola outbreak, many public health experts were not surprised.
In bats, Ebola probably doesn't cause much disease, but when it spreads to humans and other apes, Ebola can cause a very serious fever with a high chance of death.
The WHO's Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, added: "We know that addressing this outbreak will require a comprehensive and coordinated response".
As the World Health Organization's (WHO) declared a new Ebola outbreak in the Kongo on Tuesday, researchers from the University of Kent announced their findings that mass vaccination is not a viable option to prevent or contain Ebola outbreaks. Reminiscing the last outbreak begs the question: Is screening enough?
The province of Equateur has an estimated population of 2.5 million people with 284 registered health facilities.
Given the remote location of the outbreak, Salama said, response efforts will be extremely challenging.
The WHO has also established its Incident Management System that would help build a workforce centered on helping out with the current EVD outbreak.
The Organisation and the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres already have specialists on the ground and hope to have a mobile laboratory up and running this weekend, he said.
"Occasionally people living in these rural areas will come into contact with infected animals, and the transmission cycle begins".
Vaccines along with doctors and epidemiologists are on standby in case they are needed, according to the UN.
Although highly effective, it is still experimental, has not been licensed, and must be kept at -60 to -80 degrees Celsius (-76°F to -112°F). "This is a highly complex, sophisticated operation in one of the most hard terrains on earth".
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.
An Ebola vaccine that worked well in a clinical trial in Guinea held in 2015, has yet to be approved by regulatory authorities but could be used under emergency protocols.