The World Health Organization (WHO) reported Tuesday that the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is better prepared than in the past to face the new Ebola outbreak that has been detected, but has warned of the risk of spread.
Geneva, Switzerland | The reason for this risk alert, justified the WHO, is due to the strong links of the affected area with the capital and neighboring states.
“We have to be careful. Mbandaka is closely linked to Kinshasa. We have to be alert and vigilant,” said WHO Health Emergencies Director Michel Ryan in Geneva.
The new outbreak was declared this weekend and has already caused the death of two people, while 145 people, considered as ‘contacts’, are undergoing epidemiological follow-up in the city of Mbandaka, capital of the province of Ecuador, in the northwest of the country. .
Ibrahima Socé Fall, WHO’s deputy director for emergency responses, commented that it is worrying that Ebola has been detected again in an urban area with a high population density. “There is a risk of spread across the river to countries such as the Central African Republic or the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville). Therefore, we are working with the authorities and mobilizing communities, so as not to lose any chain of transmission”, he added. .
Ryan maintained that on this occasion the Ebola vaccines are all over the country and that, soon, the immunization of the most at risk groups will begin.
Even so, he did not fail to point out that the speed with which this outbreak was detected, the quick reaction, as well as the availability of tests and vaccines are unprecedented in the history of this disease.
“Seeing the capacity and experience in the DRC, we believe that it can be contained, but each outbreak is unique, so it cannot be assumed that, as we have already fought Ebola in the same area, we can do the same”, he warned. Ebola is a highly communicable disease with a high mortality rate.
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