Reported Ebola Cases Hits 42 In Congo - Ministry

Ebony Scott
May 18, 2018

42 more cases of the Ebola virus disease in the ongoing outbreak in have been reported.

Following the World Health Organisation's declaration that Nigeria and other African countries are at risk of Ebola virus outbreak, the Senate, yesterday, urged the Joint Health Sector Union to call off its over three weeks' strike to "enable Nigeria be on the alert". An additional 4,000 doses will be deployed in the coming days with more available if needed, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.

Contributing, the Chief Whip, Olusola Adeyeye (APC, Osun Central), urged the Senate to intervene and resolve the on-going strike by the country's health workers. "The remaining 12 cases are suspected..."

The Health Ministry said a vaccination programme would start on the weekend in Democratic Republic of Congo's northwestern Equateur province, where dozens of others are suspected to have been infected.

The experimental vaccine has been shown to be highly effective against Ebola.

Professor William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, said the vaccine could be crucial in the fight to curtail the outbreak.

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Over 11,000 people died from the deadly virus in 2014 when it hit West African countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. While it is too early to determine the extent of this Ebola outbreak, the alarming fatality rate has heaped pressure on health officials to act quickly in order to prevent the disease spreading beyond its current 60-kilometre radius.

"It is important that Nigeria is proactive on measures to be taken so as not to be caught unaware about the possible outbreak of the endemic Ebola virus", he said.

Patta also reports that a crucial difference between the two outbreaks is the speed at which global agencies have responded.

The World Health Organization made a decision to step in and handle the situation.

"This time, they've wasted no time", she said. Two brothers in Mbandaka who recently stayed in Bikoro for funerals are probable cases, with samples awaiting laboratory confirmation. The Bikoro health zone is about 150 kilometers - 93 miles - from Mbandaka and 45 kilometers from Ikoko Impenge, where suspected cases have been reported.

Other reports by GizPress

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