WHO Plans For Ebola 'Worst Case Scenario'

Lynn Cook
May 12, 2018

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says it is preparing for the "worst case scenario" in an Ebola outbreak in a remote area of the Democratic Republic of Congo, including the potential for the virus to spread to a major town.

The viral disease, which has no known cure or proven vaccine, was first reported in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo and takes its name from a river in that country.

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

"We are very concerned, and we are planning for all scenarios, including the worst case scenario", Salama told reporters, Medical Xpress reported.

Officials from the World Health Organization and other global health agencies are in the area to help contain the outbreak's spread. The researchers found that there were no Ebola cases among the 5,837 vaccinated people 10 days or more after getting vaccinated.

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Salama emphasized that the vaccination operation for Ebola is far more complex than that for orally-administered polio vaccine.

At a media briefing in Geneva, Peter Salama, MBBS, MPH, said the outbreak area near Bikoro-located about 174 miles from the provincial capital city of Mbandaka-has few paved roads and little electricity, and now the only way to get supplies in is by motorbike.

Of the suspected cases, at least 18 people are thought to have died from the disease, whose initial symptoms include a fever, sore throat and muscular pain. "As soon as we have the green light, we'll go for it", he said. Around 50 per cent of patients die, according to the WHO.

However, research by Kent University suggests a drive to vaccinate the entire population wouldn't be an effective way of stopping the disease spread.

Ebola is thought to be spread over long distances by fruit bats and is often transmitted to humans through contaminated bush meat.

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The Ebola vaccine was developed right at the end of the epidemic that hit West Africa.

"My ministry established the National Health Emergencies Council to work expeditiously to prevent importation of any virus or disease".

The World Health Organization 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.

The effort also requires a field epidemiology push to identify every case and every contact for vaccination, he said.

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

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The West African outbreak lasted for three years, infected about 28,000 people, killed 11,000 and spread out of Africa to places like the U.S. and Europe.

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