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An Ebola outbreak has been declared in the northeast region of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The World Health Organisation says three deaths are being linked to the virus, and it is taking the situation “very seriously”.
One of those killed had tested positive for Ebola after coming down with a haemorrhagic fever last month in Bas-Uele, a province which borders the Central African Republic.
WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier has told Sky News that work is under way to find people who may have been in contact with the Ebola sufferer.
The health agency’s regional director is also on their way to Bas-Uele, where residents are being given advice on how to treat their loved ones and perform safe burials.
Another WHO spokesman, Eric Kabambi, said: “The case is in a very remote zone, very forested, so we are a little lucky.”
The DRC suffered a three-month outbreak of Ebola in 2014. Although it was quickly contained, 49 people were killed.
Ebola occasionally jumps from animals including bats and monkeys to humans – and without preventative measures, the virus can spread quickly between people.
The virus is fatal in up to 90% of cases, and the WHO recently developed an experimental vaccine for use in emergencies.
In a statement, the DRC’s health ministry said: “Our country must confront an outbreak of the Ebola virus that constitutes a public health crisis of international significance.”
Health minister Oly Illunga has urged the population not to panic.
Ebola caused alarm globally in 2013 when the world’s worst outbreak began in West Africa – killing more than 11,300 people and infecting an estimated 28,600 as it swept through Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
Liberia was only declared free of active Ebola virus transmission last June.
The WHO has warned that the virus could resurface at any time, as it can linger in the eyes, central nervous system and bodily fluids of some survivors.
Courtesy of Sky News
More than 100 people have been quarantined in Sierra Leone after coming in contact with a woman who died of Ebola last week, highlighting the potential for the disease to spread, just as the deadliest outbreak on record appeared to be over.
The World Health Organization (WHO) last week declared that “all known chains of transmission have been stopped in West Africa” after Liberia joined Sierra Leone and Guinea in going six weeks with no reported new cases of Ebola. At the same time, it warned of possible flare-ups as survivors can carry the virus for months.
Just after the WHO announcement on Thursday, tests revealed that Mariatu Jalloh, a 22-year-old student, died of Ebola on Jan. 12. Her death has concerned health experts because authorities failed to follow basic protocols, according to a health report seen by Reuters last week.
The report stated that she lived in a house with 22 people while she was unwell. Five people were involved in washing her corpse, a practice that is considered one of the chief modes of Ebola transmission.
The Ministry of Health and the Office of National Security said in a joint statement that 109 people have so far been quarantined, 28 of whom were high-risk cases.
“An active case investigation continues in the four districts where the young woman was known to have traveled,” the statement said.
The source of the transmission remains unclear, though in late December the woman traveled near to the border with Guinea, one of the country’s last Ebola hot spots before it was declared Ebola-free on Nov. 7.
The case is a blow for Sierra Leone which, alongside Guinea and Liberia, has borne the brunt of a two-year epidemic that killed more than 11,300 people.
It has also caused anger. In apparent frustration at the latest case, the homes of some high risk patients were attacked this weekend in Magburaka, the city about 200 km (120 miles) east of Freetown where Jalloh died, and in one case a hut was burned down, according to a local leader.
Paramount Chief Masakma III told Reuters that a barricade around two quarantined homes was dismantled.
“We do not know who is behind this, but we are shocked that anyone would do this in view of what Ebola has done to our country,” the chief said.
The unrest comes after demonstrators last week accused the health department of negligence at a local hospital that saw Jalloh as an outpatient before she died.
Courtesy of news.yahoo.com
A fresh outbreak of the deadly Ebola disease has been reported in Liberia, with three new patients, including a 10-year-old boy, testing positive for the virus.
Health officials said Friday that the boy and his two immediate family members were taken to an Ebola treatment center outside the capital city of Monrovia, according to Voice of America.
“It all started on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015 when we received a report from one of our reference laboratories that a blood sample from a live patient tested positive with Ebola. The sample was taken from the patient who presented signs including fever, weakness and bleeding at a local hospital,” Liberian health minister Bernice Dahn said Friday, according to anadolu agency.
“The hospital is currently decontaminating the unit. All of the healthcare workers who came into contact with the patient have been notified. We know how Ebola spreads and we know how to stop Ebola but we must remain vigilant and work together,” she said, Reuters reported.
Liberia was first declared Ebola free on May 9, but the disease resurfaced in June. The country was declared free of the disease for the second time on Sept. 3.
This is the fourth wave of the outbreak that struck the impoverished West African country. More than 4,800 deaths have been reported in Liberia since the disease’s first outbreak in March 2014 as per WHO, according to AllAfrica.com.
The virus killed more than 11,300 patients in West African countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone since the epidemic erupted in December 2013.
Courtesy of hngn.com