Ebola Outbreak 2018: Infected Patients Escape Quarantine In Congo

26 May, 2018, 16:53 | Author: Veronica Peterson
  • A vendor holds a turtle head on display with other cuts of
bush meat at a market in Mbandaka in the Democratic Republic of Congo

News of the incidents emerged amid warnings that the DRC's ninth ebola outbreak had reached "a critical point" and highlighted the challenge facing emergency teams attempting to implement an experimental vaccination campaign and convince infected patients to stay away from their families.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a meeting in Geneva on Saturday that "I am personally committed to ensuring that we do everything we can to stop this outbreak as soon as possible".

Residents arrive at the Wangata Reference Hospital in Mbandaka, Democratic Republic of Congo, May 20, 2018.

Though the United States is not leading the response on the ground, it is providing valuable assistance at a time when cases have risen past 50, KFF said.

It would be impractical and counter-productive to ask security guards, who are not equipped with protective gear, to forcibly restrain patients, said Nahid Bhadelia, medical director of the special pathogens unit at Boston University Medical Center, who worked in an Ebola treatment unit in Sierra Leone during its 2014-2016 outbreak. "And we hope others will do the same", Azar added.

Ms Mordaunt will also set out an additional package of support which is strengthening the ability of countries across Africa to prepare and quickly respond to deadly diseases including Ebola, Zika and Yellow Fever, using valuable lessons learned from the 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

The outbreak began in rural northwestern DRC in a remote location called Bikoro. A nurse also died in the village of Bikoro, the town near where the outbreak was first detected in early May, ministry spokeswoman Jessica Ilunga said.

Though the outbreak in the DRC is unpredictable, if it expands and crosses borders, responders will probably need more global assistance, which might come with a request for the United States to ramp up its engagement, the report concluded.

He said five health care workers in Mbandaka have been infected with the virus, which is a potential signal for further amplification.

Three Ebola deaths have been confirmed since Congo's health ministry announced the current outbreak of the often lethal hemorrhagic fever on May 8.

"It is really the detective work of epidemiology that will make or break the response to this outbreak", he said. Newly vaccinated people would have to be monitored for 21 days. Thousands of doses of this vaccine are now being targeted at those most at risk in the DRC.

Bush meat is on display at a market in Mbandaka in the
Democratic Republic of Congo
Bush meat is on display at a market in Mbandaka in the Democratic Republic of Congo

"This has raised the chances that it might spread both nationally and internationally", Salama said.

"This is not mass immunization", he noted.

Vaccinators will need to carefully explain that some people who receive the vaccine may still get sick because protection is not immediate or because some of them may already have been infected when they were vaccinated, Berkley said.

Salama said this is the same approach used in the 1970s for the elimination of smallpox. The other countries are Angola, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia and, to a lesser extent, Uganda.

Ebola is also believed to be a "curse on those who ate stolen meat".

"The victim will be far from others so that he can not contaminate them".

The WHO official added that it was "a multi-partner effort and it's not over yet".

"It is not over yet", he cautioned.

"The next few weeks will really tell if this outbreak is going to expand to urban areas or if we're going to be able to keep it under control", WHO's emergency response chief Peter Salama told ministers and diplomats in Geneva.

The World Health Organization is appealing for $26 million to keep the operation going for the next six months.It says strong, continued worldwide support is essential for combating this deadly disease.

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