Geneva/Brazzaville/Kinshasa, 11 May 2018-The World Health Organization (WHO) and a broad range of partners are in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) working with the Government to contain an outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Bikoro health zone, Equateur Province. The WHO estimates that the 3-month air bridge cost to be $2.4 million. But already there are three separate locations covering 60 km (37 miles) or more, and some of the victims were healthcare workers, potentially "an amplification factor" for outbreaks, Salama said. The Congolese capital's population of 14 million means the disease would spread very quickly if it reaches the city, which is far from the affected area.
The global humanitarian medical non-governmental organization also said, discussions are already underway with Congolese authorities and the World Health Organization (WHO) to make the vaccines available. "All suspected cases are not necessarily cases of Ebola", he adds. When we talk about Ebola virus now, the shadow of the 2014 West African epidemic hangs heavy as a warning of what can happen. "At all levels, this has been taken as the highest priority".
The organisation has a team on the ground and is preparing to send up to 40 more specialists to the region in the coming week or so. By this weekend, the first mobile lab at the outbreak site should be up and running, Salama said.
The outbreak is contained to the Democratic Republic of the Congo so far. All of the deaths occurred before the outbreak was confirmed.
"My ministry established the National Health Emergencies Council to work expeditiously to prevent importation of any virus or disease".
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"This situation worries us and requires a very immediate and energetic response", he said at a news conference.
On Friday, WHO said on Friday it hopes to deploy an experimental Ebola vaccine to tackle an outbreak in a remote area of Congo to prevent it spreading. Salama said that, fortunately, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance has already agreed to pay for the vaccine, and the World Health Organization has part of the stockpile in Geneva ready to deploy.
Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told the Washington Post that Ebola outbreaks are unsafe in an increasingly urbanizing Africa because once infections spread to a metropolitan area, they become much more hard to control. The virus is also spread through sexual contact.
Experimental vaccines and treatments for Ebola are under development, but they have not yet been fully tested for safety or effectiveness.