Concern over Ebola outbreak in Congo

The outbreak of an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Guinea poses a threat to the region and requires vigilance, the World Health Organization warned today.

In Guinea, West Africa, seven cases were reported and four people died. Local health authorities, WHO and Médecins Sans Frontières are trying to coordinate their efforts to prevent the spread of the deadly virus and to avoid a catastrophic scenario, such as the one in 2013-16, when more than 11,000 people lost their lives.

The seven cases were all members of the same family. The first victim was a 51-year-old nurse from Gueke, a town of 23,000, who died in late January. The other six were all her relatives: her husband, her son, her two brothers, her mother and her aunt, who lived with her and attended her funeral, without observing the protection measures.

Her two brothers, aged 38 and 42, also died. The fourth victim is “an elderly woman”, the authorities said, without specifying whether it was the mother or the aunt. The nurse’s husband, aged 65, is being treated in Konakri.

In the “best case” the first vaccines will arrive in Guinea within the next 72 hours, said WHO spokesman in the country Alfred George Key-Zerbo.

Four cases have been reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since the outbreak on February 7 in the city of Bhutto. The same area was the epicenter of the previous epidemic, last June. A vaccination campaign has already started in Butebo.

“We have to be very careful, vigilant,” Mike Ryan, the WHO’s leading epidemiologist, told a news conference. “This disease is a regional risk,” he added.

Source: by

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