Published: Sat, May 13, 2017
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

Congo reports a single confirmed case of Ebola, UN says

Congo reports a single confirmed case of Ebola, UN says

One case of Ebola has been confirmed and eight other suspected cases are being investigated, including three deaths, according to a statement by the World Health Organization on Friday.

Though Likati health district is located in a remote area, health officials said it is taking the outbreak seriously and working to contain it as quickly as possible.

"We have to support our colleagues internationally through World Health Organization and help them increase the capacity of other countries to detect and respond rapidly to threats that can spread quickly", Duchin said. Since April 22, there have been nine suspected cases of Ebola and three reported deaths. The last one was in 2014. It was the only epidemic of Ebola - usually, outbreaks are smaller and affect at the most a few hundred people. This means that outbreaks there kill people, but fizzle out without spreading very far geographically.

"The vaccine has shown high efficacy in clinical trials and could play a vital role in protecting the most vulnerable", he added. Six people are now in hospital with a hemorrhagic fever as blood specimens continue to be examined in laboratory tests.

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In response to the letter, WHO authorities are coordinating efforts to deploy "health workers and protective kits in the field to strengthen epidemiological surveillance and rapidly control the outbreak".

The deployment of rVSV-SEBOV may be warranted in the DRC, because the vaccine is based on the Zaire strain of Ebola that is driving the current outbreak, says Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Of those who received the vaccine immediately, none developed the Ebola virus.

The last outbreak of Ebola in Congo was in 2014 and killed 42 people. That outbreak was not connected to the massive epidemic in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone that left thousands dead.

"The fact that this is a country that has experience dealing with Ebola should give us hope that we won't see a pandemic on the scale of the 2014 outbreak that hit West Africa", Dr. Seth Berkley, Gavi CEO, said in a statement. Dr Allarangar also appealed to other partners to work with the country to put in place an appropriately coordinated multisectoral approach.

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