East African Countries issue deadly Ebola virus outbreak alert — Travel Alert


The virus which is transmitted by bats was first discovered in DRC in 1976 and named after the Ebola river. On July 2, 2017 the World Health Organization declared the end of the most recent outbreak of Ebola in DRC, in which a total of four people died.

Among humans, the commonest form of infection is through close contact with the blood, body fluids, secretions or organs of someone who is sick with Ebola or has recently died.

By the time the Ebola outbreak was recognized in Guinea in March 2014, almost 60 people had already died.

The World Health Organization said there have been 39 confirmed and suspected cases of Ebola over the past five weeks as the virus spreads across three rural areas covering almost 40 miles in the northwest part of the country.

The current outbreak's proximity to significant trade and population centers has authorities concerned.

"We have agreement, registration, plus import permit, everything formally agreed already", Tedros said. "We have three health care workers infected and one already died".

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A cordon ribbon is seen around the isolation ward at Bikoro hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is also located 150 kilometers (93 miles) from the large regional capital, Mbandaka.

Controlling the spread in the community is combatted by tracing and isolating people who have been in contact with an Ebola victim.

Unlike during the West Africa crisis, vaccines are on hand this time around. The vaccine could arrive in Kinshasa on Tuesday, WHO spokesman Eugene Kabambi said.

The vaccine was developed by the Canadian government and its production has been licensed to Merck in the U.S. Although it was designed and found to be highly effective for a different strain of the virus, it is still considered to be safe and effective. "It's a targeted vaccination for people who are identified as possible contacts of people who have been infected", Tari Jasarevic, a World Health Organization spokesperson, told DW. It must be kept at -60 to -80 degrees Celsius (-76°F to -112°F), creating huge logistical challenges.

Before 2014, Ebola research had stagnated. During the West African crisis, only a handful of foreign health workers were treated with experimental drugs. We are glad that the outbreak is far from our borders but we are trying to work with different partners to fight it earlier before it spread to our country. On Sunday, they traveled with the country's health minister, Dr. Oly Ilunga, to Bikoro to view operations and meet with response teams and local leaders.

Before the weekend, only five samples had been taken and sent to Kinshasa, two of which tested positive for Ebola.