Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Congo Government Raises Number of Suspected Ebola Cases to 42

Congo Government Raises Number of Suspected Ebola Cases to 42

"The latest numbers until May 13, 2018 are: 42 cases, including two confirmed; 21 probable and 19 suspected", Ilunga said.

"We have agreement, registration, plus import permit, everything formally agreed already", Tedros told reporters.

The WHO has a stockpile of 4,300 doses of the vaccine in Geneva; the company also has 300,000 doses of the vaccine stockpiled in the United States.

"The vaccination campaign starts next week, everything depends on the logistics because the vaccine must be kept at minus 60 degrees Celsius, and we need to assure that the cold chain is assured from Geneva to Bikoro", she said.

Ebola virus disease (formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever) is a severe, often fatal illness, with a death rate of up to 90% caused by Ebola virus, a member of the filovirus family.

In an interview with The New Times on Monday, Dr. Diane Gashumba, the Minister for Health said no signs of Ebola have so far been detected on Rwandan soil and that the ministry is working with different stakeholders to ensure citizens are protected from the outbreak. "The remaining 12 cases are suspected..."

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The CDC advised people to avoid non-essential travel to the DR Congo, saying if they must travel, they should avoid coming into contact with living or dead wild animals, eating wild animal meat and visiting Ebola patients.

This is the ninth Ebola outbreak in Congo since 1976, when the deadly disease was first identified.

The vaccine, developed by Merck in 2016, has proven safe and effective in human trials, but it is still experimental as it does not yet have a license. It was tested in Guinea in 2015.

World Health Organization chief Tedros had led a delegation to the affected region on Sunday.

"Majority of the cases are in the health zone of Bikoro; others are reported in the health zones of Iboko and Wangata".

WHO is working with Congo's government and other global organizations, including Medecins Sans Frontieres, to strengthen coordination to fight and contain the Ebola outbreak.

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