Northwest Congo hospital receives new suspected Ebola case

Mass vaccination not enough to prevent Ebola outbreak

Both confirmed Ebola cases came from the iIkoko Iponge health facility located about 30 kilometers from Bikoro.

"The problem here is that we already have three separate locations that are reporting cases that cover as much as 60km and maybe more", Salama with World Health Organization said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ebola, officially known as Ebola virus disease, is a rare condition caused by an infection with one of five known Ebola virus species.

The average fatality rate among those infected with the virus is about 50 percent, according to the WHO.

On 8 May 2018, the Ministry of Health (MOH) of the Democratic Republic of the Congo declared an outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Bikoro Health Zone, Equateur Province.

The outbreak is in the market town of Bikoro in the north-west of the country. The affected area in Bikoro is remote, with limited communication and poor transportation infrastructure, the World Health Organization said.

"Even though this is a remote rural area, which normally gives us a sense of reassurance in terms of the spread of an outbreak, the problem here is that we already have three separate locations covering as much as 60km and maybe more", Mr Salama said. UNICEF is also making doctors available as well as sanitation and hygiene specialists to help contain the outbreak.

Scientists believe Ebola is most transmitted to people from wild animals like fruit bats, antelope, porcupines, gorillas, and chimpanzees.

He told a regular United Nations briefing in Geneva that he hoped the Democratic Republic of Congo would give the green light within days for the deployment of an experimental vaccine but warned that the drug was complicated to use and was not a magic bullet. A new experimental vaccine has been shown to be highly effective, though quantities are now limited.

He stressed however that "this is an experimental vaccine", pointing out that it must be stored at temperatures as low as minus 80 degrees Celsius (-112 degrees Fahrenheit). "This situation worries us and requires an immediate and energetic response".

Sicily Kariuki, the Cabinet Secretary for Health, said the government has deployed 100 medical experts at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), the main port of entry to screen and test travelers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and a further 160 on standby for any eventuality.

The largest Ebola outbreak took place in West Africa in 2014-2015, with more than 11,000 people dead and some 28,000 cases having been reported.

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