Congo health ministry confirms 2 Ebola cases in new outbreak

Congo health ministry confirms 2 Ebola cases in new outbreak

The outbreak declaration came after laboratory results confirmed two cases of Ebola in the north-western region of DRC.

A team of experts will go to Bikoro on Wednesday to implement measures to avoid further spread of the disease, said the ministry statement.

The game, which has been created to canvass support from Nigerians before the team will head out for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russian Federation, is now being threatened by the outbreak of the killer disease. In a vaccination trial during the West African Ebola virus epidemic, only 49 per cent of individuals who had been in contact with Ebola virus patients could be vaccinated.

Nigeria managed to escape the last Ebola outbreak with just 20 cases and eight deaths. That outbreak was quickly contained and was declared over in July 2017.

He said that an emergency operation centre would be set up and chaired by Dr. Babasanya, who actually led "our efforts in Liberia and Sierra Leone and Guinea during the outbreak in 2014".

At this level, 80 percent of a population would need to be immunised to prevent outbreaks, even if a highly effective vaccine that protects 90 percent of individuals after vaccination was available.

There is no specific treatment for Ebola, which is spread through the bodily fluids of people exhibiting symptoms.

As at the last count, about 17 people were said to have died in an area of northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo where health officials have now confirmed an outbreak of Ebola. A new experimental vaccine has been shown to be highly effective against the virus, though quantities are now limited. However, a recent research suggests prophylactic mass vaccination programmes are not a realistic option in the battle to prevent the disease.

Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO Regional Director for Africa, said: "We know that addressing this outbreak will require a comprehensive and coordinated response".

WHO said Tuesday it is working closely with Congo's government to rapidly scale up its operations and mobilize health partners as it did successfully in Congo a year ago. It will also provide needed supplies.

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