WHO Prepares for 'Worst Case Scenario' in Congo Ebola Outbreak

WHO Prepares for 'Worst Case Scenario' in Congo Ebola Outbreak

WHO Prepares for 'Worst Case Scenario' in Congo Ebola Outbreak

South Sudan's Ministry of Health on Friday says it has set up an emergency response team along the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo following the reports of Ebola outbreak in North and Western Part of the Country.

The WHO was especially concerned about the possible spread to neighboring Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic, which has connections to the affected area through the river systems.

The incident in the town of Bikoro comes more than a year after an outbreak in the country killed four people.

Cases have already been reported in three separate locations around Bikoro, and Mr Salama warned there was a clear risk the disease could spread to more densely populated areas.

But despite the fact that during the 2014 outbreak he slammed President Barack Obama for what he called a "TOTAL incompetent" response to the possibility of Ebola cases reaching the United States, Donald Trump this week announced cuts of $252 million in funding for a USA response to a potential Ebola plague, calling the cut part of his move to stop "irresponsible Federal spending".

The Ministry of Health in the Democratic Republic of the Congo deployed Rapid Response Teams to investigate cases and deaths reported in Bikoro health zone in the Equateur province. "We must take extra measures to make sure people are screened at all the entry points into the country", he said.

World Health Organization now has a team on the ground along with partner Médecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), and will invole an additional team of between 20-40 specialists in epidemiology, logistics, contact-tracing, and vaccination programmes, in the coming days.

Salama also said there was no evidence of a link between the outbreak and eight deaths that occurred in January and February in the same area, which had not been confirmed as Ebola. Ebola is fatal in about 50 per cent of cases.

An outbreak of Ebola, a deadly form of viral hemorrhagic fever, has stricken Congo for the ninth time since the disease was discovered in the 1970s.

"This situation worries us and requires a very immediate and energetic response", he said at a news conference.

Peter Salama, who leads the World Health Organization's health emergencies programme said that WHO was preparing for all eventualities, speaking at a press conference in Geneva.

Congo's health ministry on Tuesday, May 8, described the fresh outbreak as a "public health emergency with worldwide impact". "I'm in contact in the Minister of health and have assured him that we're ready to do all that's needed to stop the spread of Ebola quickly".

Experimental vaccines and treatments for Ebola are under development, but they have not yet been fully tested for safety or effectiveness.

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