WHO's Congo Ebola plan assumes 100-300 cases over three months


It would be impractical and counter-productive to ask security guards, who are not equipped with protective gear, to forcibly restrain patients, said Nahid Bhadelia, medical director of the special pathogens unit at Boston University Medical Centre, who worked in an Ebola treatment unit in Sierra Leone during its 2014-2016 outbreak. Several hundred people who have come into contact with infected persons are now being monitored by health authorities.

UNICEF staffer Jean Claude Nzengu (c.) talks with members of an Ebola vaccination team as they prepare to administer the vaccine in an Ebola-affected community in Mbandaka, Congo.

'Medical preparedness and a swift worldwide response to the Ebola outbreak in DR Congo are essential if we are to prevent a new Ebola epidemic, ' said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.

Following the confirmation of multiple cases of Ebola, a team from ALIMA is now conducting an evaluation to determine the needs of the medical facilities and among the populations of the cities of Mbandaka and Iboko in the Equateur Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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Congo's vaccination campaign, which began in Mbandaka last week, is targeting more than 1,000 health workers and contacts of the sick in three health zones.

The ministry of health, Congo has confirmed another Ebola death, increasing the death toll to 12.

"The health minister can be found at this moment in Bikoro for assessing the preparations for the vaccination campaign", Ilunga said. The World Health Organization is providing information that the next few weeks are vital for containing the outbreak and said it can be controlled.

Of the 10 confirmed Ebola deaths, five have occurred in Bikoro, two in Iboko and three in the Wangata area of Mbandaka.

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The Ministry said in a statement that the death case was recorded in Iboko, a rural area in northwestern Equateur province.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a meeting in Geneva on Saturday that "I am personally committed to ensuring that we do everything we can to stop this outbreak as soon as possible".

Zero contacts should be lost, and all people who die from suspected or probable Ebola should be buried in a safe way, to prevent the infection spreading.

This is Congo's ninth Ebola outbreak since 1976, when the hemorrhagic fever was first identified. Right now, six-hundred contacts have been identified. Symptoms of Ebola include vomiting, fever, muscle pain, diarrhea, and external or internal bleeding.

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World Health Organization also is accelerating efforts with nine neighboring countries to try to prevent the Ebola outbreak from spreading there, saying the regional risk is high.