Published: Sun, June 10, 2018
Medical | By Marta Holmes

World Health Organization says Ebola situation in DRC shows promise

World Health Organization says Ebola situation in DRC shows promise

In spite of reports of the reduction in new Ebola cases, the Catholic Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has said that measures aimed at minimising the risk of the spread of Ebola would remain in place until further notice.

"There have been 62 Ebola cases in the DRC during this latest outbreak, with 38 confirmations and 27 deaths".

The World Health Organization (WHO), which was giving a briefing Friday on the outbreak, has vaccinated more than 1,000 people over the past two weeks, including health workers who are at high risk.

The WHO, however, has noted that the Ebola outbreak does not now meet the conditions for a public health emergency of global concern, and that there should be no worldwide travel or trade restrictions.

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The current outbreak is still on a low scale compared with a three-nation epidemic that occurred between 2013-15 but has stirred wide concern.

"We are cautiously optimistic, but there is a lot of very tough work to do to be able say we are on top of the outbreak", Salama said. In summary, there has been very strong progress in outbreak response, " Salama said.

The outbreak, which began in the remote northwest and was declared in the town of Bikoro, has spread to the city of Mbandaka with a population of more than one million. This figure includes 673 people in Mbandaka, 398 in Bikoro, 725 in Iboko, and 30 in Ingende, also located in the Equateur province. "We've reached the majority of contacts - more than 98% - with vaccination. and we believe these contacts are now protected against Ebola", he said.

Phase 2 of the vaccination campaign will turn the focus of the response to rural and isolated communities, "some of the most remote territories on earth" and home to "indigenous" and "marginalized" populations, he said.

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On the front lines of the outbreak, health officials use a tool called contact tracing to break the chain of transmission of the Ebola virus.

The other was reported from the area of Iboko, but the family were refusing to allow doctors to take a blood sample to test for Ebola, it said.

But the Congolese health ministry said on Wednesday that "no experimental treatment has yet been given to hospitalised patients". "And we've learned the hard way in the past never to underestimate Ebola".

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