WHO plans for Ebola 'worst case scenario'

WHO plans for Ebola 'worst case scenario'

On Tuesday, 8th May 2018, the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo informed the World Health Organisation (WHO) of a new outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Bikoro in Equateur Province in the north-western part of the country near the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville).

"There are very few paved roads, very little electrification, access is extremely hard".

The ministry was alerted to the likelihood of Ebola at Bikoro on May 3 after 17 people died from hemorrhagic fever over the preceding five weeks, which led it to test the five patients suspected of carrying the virus.

However, those cases were not confirmed through testing.

Salama noted that the organization was concerned over the situation in the country and was preparing for the worst-case scenario development.

The DRC has the means to diagnose the virus locally, get boots on the ground, and contain the spread and treat sick people.

The illness brought Africa to its knees earlier this decade - with more than 11,000 people being killed in an outbreak. The $252 million in cuts proposed by Trump is the amount remaining in that Obama-era package, according to a report in The Atlantic magazine - leaving nothing specifically allocated to deal with any future Ebola epidemic.

WHO is working closely with authorities in DRC to scale up operations rapidly and mobilize health partners that have helped in relatively recent Ebola outbreaks in West Africa: Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

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Unless remediated immediately, the number of deaths for this outbreak could increase.

A spokesman for the director of epidemiology in DRC said government experts would meet on Thursday to discuss measures to prevent it crossing the border to neighbouring Congo-Brazzaville.

The latest Ebola outbreak comes after the 2014/2015 epidemic in West Africa. "At all levels, this has been taken as the highest priority".

"WHO staff were in the team that first identified the outbreak".

The DRC Red Cross has responded to all past Ebola outbreaks in the country and has a strong, in-country network of experts.

It said they had already arrived in the regional capital Mbandaka, about 150km away from the affected area. The formal response team-WHO, Doctors Without Borders and the DRC health ministry-have just arrived in the area, Rollins says, so there are still many unknowns. The WHO has already released $1 million from its contingency fund, and Wellcome Trust and the United Kingdom government have pledged £3 million ($4.1 million).

Gavi has an emergency stockpile of 300,000 doses.

He said, however, that there are many complications in using an experimental vaccine, and it's not a simple logistical effort.

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