Nigeria increases airport screenings after Ebola outbreak in Congo

Brittany Mendoza
May 12, 2018

On Friday, WHO said on Friday it hopes to deploy an experimental Ebola vaccine to tackle an outbreak in a remote area of Congo to prevent it spreading.

World Health Organization said it doesn't at this time advise limits on travel and trade to the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is now facing its ninth Ebola outbreak since the virus was first discovered in that country in 1976.

The Health Ministry held an emergency meeting Thursday to establish measures to prevent Ebola, including improving surveillance on river and maritime ports, airports and terrestrial border points, as well as recommending the public to maintain good personal hygiene.

Over the last four decades, the Democratic Republic of Congo has experienced eight Ebola outbreaks.

"We are very concerned, and we are planning for all scenarios, including the worst case scenario", Salama told reporters, Medical Xpress reported. But already there are three separate locations covering 60 km (37 miles) or more, and some of the victims were healthcare workers, potentially "an amplification factor" for outbreaks, Salama said.

It was reported that on May 30, 2017, the regulatory and ethics-review boards in the DRC approved the use of an experimental Ebola vaccine to combat the disease.

"However, early signs including the infection of 3 health workers, the geographical extent of the outbreak, the proximity to transport routes and population centres, and the number of suspected cases indicate that stopping this outbreak will be a serious challenge".

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Laboratory results confirmed two cases of the disease in the province of Bikoro in the northwestern part of the country.

A team from World Health Organization and its partners is already on the ground, personal protective equipment has already been deployed, and a surge team of 20 to 40 World Health Organization outbreak specialists is set to arrive. We don't know what causes these species jumps, which makes predicting Ebola outbreaks nearly impossible.

To date, the outbreak is reported in a remote area and appears to be geographically limited.

This is the ninth time an Ebola outbreak has been recorded in DR Congo.

Ebola viruses are a group of particularly nasty viruses that have a significant burden across Africa.

For now, the rare and deadly disease has been confined to the Democratic Republic of Congo in central Africa. "This situation worries us and requires an immediate and energetic response".

The VSV-EBOV vaccine, developed in Canada and licensed by NewLink Genetics and Merck, was shown to be highly effective in a ring vaccination trial in Guinea during West Africa's outbreak.

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