Published: Fri, May 18, 2018
Medical | By Johnnie Horton

Ebola deaths CONFIRMED as virus continues to spread

Ebola deaths CONFIRMED as virus continues to spread

"The arrival of Ebola in an urban area is very concerning and World Health Organization and partners are working together to rapidly scale up the search for all contacts of the confirmed case in the Mbandaka area", said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO's regional director for Africa. Helicopter and motorcycle are the only ways to reach Bikoro from Mbandaka, but an airstrip has been rapidly cleared for small planes to land with supplies. However, the 2014 ebola crisis resulted in the virus infecting individuals in a more populated region in West Africa, where about 11,000 people out of approximately 28,000 infected had died as a result.

Confirmed cases of Ebola had previously been limited to a remote area more than 160km south of Mbandaka, in the rainforest of Congo's Equateur province. "We have urban Ebola, which is a very different animal from rural Ebola".

"This is a major, major game-changer in the outbreak", Dr. Peter Salama, the World Health Organization's deputy director-general of emergency preparedness and response, warned Thursday. The WHO has called an emergency meeting over a health crisis of potentially "international concern".

A total of 44 cases of Ebola have been reported in Congo in this outbreak: three confirmed, 20 probable and 21 suspected, according to WHO.

Health officials said the newest case was worrying.

A single case of Ebola was confirmed in Mbandaka, a densely populated provincial capital on the Congo River, Congo's Health Minister Oly Ilunga said late Wednesday.

That challenge amplifies greatly in urban environments where people move around more and have more contact with others than in the countryside.

It said there had been one new death in Bikoro, where the Ebola outbreak was announced last week and where the first death took place.

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. Increases Position in Nordstrom (JWN)
The stock witnessed 8.27% gains, 1.37% gains and 31.84% gains for the 1-month, 3-month and 6-month period, respectively. Institute For Wealth Ltd Liability holds 0.11% or 10,047 shares in its portfolio. (NYSE: JWN ) for 22,992 shs.

The WHO is deploying about 30 experts to conduct surveillance in the city and inform local communities on treatment and prevention methods in collaboration with the country's Ministry of Health.

The WHO is sending 7,540 doses of an experimental vaccine to try to stop the outbreak in its tracks, and 4,300 doses have already arrived in Kinshasa.

This is Democratic Republic of Congo's ninth epidemic since the disease was identified in the 1970s, but also its most alarming because of the risk of transmission via regular river transport to the capital Kinshasa, a city of 10,000,000 people.

The current outbreak involves the same strain of the virus that hit three West African countries in 2013-15 and sparked an global panic.

Still, while using V920 might not be simple, it has the potential to play a major role in preventing this Ebola outbreak from turning out like the one in West Africa just a couple of years back.

Nine Ebola outbreaks have occurred in DRC since the virus was first identified in 1976.

Early symptoms include fever, muscle pain and fatigue, followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rashes and bleeding - both internal and external - apparent in the gums, eyes, nasal passages and faeces.

Like this: