Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

Ebola Alert: Ghana Health Service Cautions After DRC Deaths

Ebola Nigeria begins screening travelers at airports Ebola Alert: Ghana Health Service Cautions After DRC Deaths
Melissa Porter | 11 May, 2018, 19:18

Nigeria's football federation says a World Cup warm-up match will be cancelled if doctors advise it, after a fresh outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

World Health Organization immediately jumped into action once the outbreak was declared, he said, and was now in "full surge capacity".

From 4 April through 9 May 2018, a total of 32 Ebola virus disease cases (among which two are confirmed, 18 probable and 12 suspected cases) were reported from Bikoro health zone, Equateur province, including 18 deaths.

Sawyer, a Liberian-American, died in hospital and infected several health workers, including Stella Ameyo Adedavoh.

Salama also said there was no evidence of a link between the outbreak and eight deaths that occurred in January and February in the same area, which had not been confirmed as Ebola.

Signs and symptoms typically start between two days and three weeks after contracting the virus with a fever, sore throat, muscular pain and headaches.

He said the possibility of global spread of the disease was still considered "low", but that the situation was constantly being evaluated.

Ebola's potential to spread rapidly is the reason it's essential to have dedicated officials coordinating a response to an outbreak - before it turns into a deadly epidemic or pandemic.

"MSF has worked alongside the Congolese authorities in the past to care for patients suffering from Ebola and bring outbreaks under control".

"One of the defining features of this epidemic is the fact that three health professionals have been affected", Health Minister Oly Ilunga said in a statement.

The virus which is transmitted by bats was first discovered in DRC in 1976 and named after the Ebola river.

Prevention includes limiting the spread of the disease from infected animals to humans.

The WHO is moving quickly, having been criticised for bungling its response to a 2014-2016 outbreak that killed more than 11,300 people in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

The WHO is meanwhile awaiting a green light from DRC authorities to begin a vaccination campaign in the area, using an available stockpile of an experimental vaccine. "Over the last few years, we have strengthened our health security infrastructure to effectively prevent, detect and respond to infectious diseases including Ebola." .

The current risk of Ebola spreading to nearby countries is moderate, based on the WHO's assessment.

"We are very concerned, and we are planning for all scenarios, including the worst case scenario", WHO´s head of emergency response Peter Salama told reporters in Geneva.