Sunday, 17 June, 2018

Ebola outbreak in Congo is stabilising

Ebola literature Congo confirms another Ebola case as outbreak hits 1-month mark
Melissa Porter | 10 June, 2018, 21:30

The fight against a deadly Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo is giving a reason for cautious optimism, World Health Organisation chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday.

Mr Salama, who just returned from a two-day visit to the DRC said: "There's been very strong progress in the outbreak response, particularly in relation to two of the initial three sites: Mbandaka and Bikoro".

World Health Organization said four of the five approved drugs are now in the country, which are Zmapp, GS-5734, REGN monoclonal antibody combination, and mAb114, under the framework of compassionate use and expanded access.

Phase 1 of the vaccination campaign, a plan to protect urban centers and towns, has "gone well", said Salama.

"What this is telling us is the response (the WHO's vaccination program) is having an impact in those two locations", said Salama.

This is Congo's ninth Ebola outbreak since 1976, when the hemorrhagic fever was first identified.

Mbandaka, in northwest DRC, has a population of around one million. "And then if there is a confirmation of a case, every contact of those cases", he explained. The newest confirmed case is in rural Iboko and is linked to a probable Ebola death on May 20, the ministry said. More than 98% of known contacts have been vaccinated, Salama said.

"Contact tracing has been a huge challenge in this hard-to-reach area", Salama said, describing Iboko as a remote community in a heavily forested part of the DRC.

On the front lines of the outbreak, health officials use a tool called contact tracing to break the chain of transmission of the Ebola virus.

On Monday, the Ministry of Health approved the use of these experimental treatments, some used on patients in past outbreaks, during the current outbreak.

Based on the IHR assessment and status of core capacities implementation in countries, the plan lays out WHO's recommendations to ensure that these countries are operationally ready to prevent the importation of cases, implement risk mitigation, detection and response measures for Ebola. It's the identification and follow-up of all people who may have come into contact with a person infected with the infectious disease. "But we know to never underestimate Ebola".