Published: Fri, May 18, 2018
Medical | By Jackie Banks

World Health Organization says 'high risk' Ebola will spread in DR Congo

World Health Organization says 'high risk' Ebola will spread in DR Congo

Ilunga said of the current 25 deaths, only one has been confirmed as Ebola, adding that no new health professionals have been contaminated.

Currently, WHO said it considers the public health risk to be high at the national level, moderate at the regional level and low at the global level.

It went on to kill more than 11,300 people, in the deadliest ever Ebola epidemic.

WHO Deputy Director-General for Emergency Preparedness and Response Peter Salama had told reporters on Thursday that the risk assessment was being reviewed.

Until now, the outbreak had been confined to remote rural areas, where Ebola, which is spread via contact with bodily fluids of those infected, travels more slowly.

The new case of Ebola virus disease has been confirmed in Wangata, one of the three health zones of Mbandaka, a city of almost 1.2 million people in Equateur Province in northwestern Congo, the World Health Organization confirmed Thursday, CNN reported. "At present, this event does not meet the criteria of a public health event of worldwide concern", who said.

It said the new death has epidemiologic ties to another case.

Meanwhile, the public relations officer in the same ministry, Doreen Motshegwa, said their health officials are on high alert and have put measures in place to ward off the spread of the Ebola outbreak in the DRC.

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So far, 23 people have reportedly died and until Thursday, there were more than 40 suspected or confirmed cases.

Mbandaka had three suspected cases in addition to the confirmed case. "We have urban Ebola, which is a very different animal from rural Ebola".

On Wednesday more than 4,000 doses of an experimental vaccine sent by the World Health Organization arrived in Kinshasa with another batch expected soon.

WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said on Friday that Congo's Ministry of Health had provided updated figures: 45 cases overall since April 4, including 14 confirmed, 10 suspected and 21 probable.

Those exposed will for the first time in Congo receive Ebola vaccinations, the health minister said.

WHO said health workers had identified 430 people who may have had contact with the disease and were working to trace more than 4,000 contacts of Ebola patients who had spread across north-west DR Congo. Under the supervision are already more than five hundred people.

"The European Commission has announced a package of urgent humanitarian aid to help contain an outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo".

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