Ebola outbreak in Congo is stabilising

Ebola Outbreak In Congo Made Another Victim Bringing The Death Toll To 27

Ebola Outbreak In Congo Made Another Victim Bringing The Death Toll To 27

Distributions of World Food Programme rations have begun in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)'s Ebola-hit Equateur Province as part of an effort to support those directly affected by the latest outbreak of the deadly virus and limit risky population movements.

Archbishop Fridolin Ambongo Besungu, co-adjutor archbishop of Kinshasa who previously served in the Diocese of Mbandaka-Bikoro, where the outbreak occurred, chose to suspend administering sacraments to protect churchgoers from contracting the disease. The newest confirmed case is in rural Iboko and is linked to a probable Ebola patient who died on 20 May, the ministry said. The virus spreads via bodily fluids of infected people, including the dead.

An AP report Friday quoted DRC's health ministry saying another Ebola case had been confirmed even as the pace of new cases slows down.

This is Congo's ninth Ebola outbreak since 1976, when the hemorrhagic fever was first identified.

Phase one of the disease response was about protecting the urban centres and towns and that had gone well, Salama said, but phase two, tackling the remote forested areas, was an enormous logistical effort that would go on for weeks.

On the front lines of the outbreak, health officials use a tool called contact tracing to break the chain of transmission of the Ebola virus. Health workers monitor close contacts for 21 days and isolate them should they become ill.

"Overall, the contact tracing has been a huge challenge, particularly in areas hardest to reach", said Salama, noting that Iboko is most difficult. The infrastructure is only beginning to catch up, he added, with motorcycles arriving now.

However, the Congolese government is considering other experimental treatments that it is evaluating for use.

World Health Organization however, said in the context of an outbreak characterized by high mortality, it can be ethically appropriate to offer individual patients investigational interventions on an emergency basis outside clinical trials.

Most recently, a team of Chinese experts will arrive in Kinshasa on Friday to join the worldwide effort, which includes nations from the European Union, Japan and the United States in assisting the Congolese health authorities, according to the Ministry of Health. "But we know to never underestimate Ebola".

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