Ebola Outbreak Spreads as WHO Holds Emergency Meeting

Kenny Tucker
May 17, 2018

The Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo announced the finding, after laboratory tests conducted by the Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale (INRB) confirmed one specimen as positive for EVD.

The Democratic Republic of Congo's efforts to head off an Ebola epidemic is running into obstacles, with the announcement of the first registered urban case.

Nkengasong also added the virus is for sure in a remote area of that country, challenging the health personnel´s deployment and the necessary supplies, which have raised major concern. The Congo Republic is on the other side of the river. Health Minister Oly Ilunga late Wednesday said two suspected cases of hemorrhagic fever were reported in the Wangata health zones, which includes Mbandaka city, about 93 miles from Bikoro, the rural area where the outbreak began.

She says health experts have identified 500 contacts who are now being traced.

"We will intensify the monitoring and tracing of the population to all air, sea and road access routes".

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Ebola is a serious infectious illness that causes internal bleeding and often proves fatal.

According to the country's Ministry of Health, the vaccine arrived on Wednesday, after it declared the outbreak in the northwest region near Congo-Brazzaville on May 8.

Over 11,000 people have died of Ebola in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone between 2014 and 2016.

Forty-four cases have been reported in the outbreak so far, including three confirmed, 20 probable and 21 suspected, according to the WHO's tally.

The first batch of 4,000 doses of vaccine was already being flown to Kinshasa, and the World Health Organization plans to send a second batch of 4,000 doses in coming days, World Health Organization spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said.

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