19 dead, 39 infected so far in Congo Ebola outbreak

A woman wearing a gas mask participates in a protest against air pollution in Skopje Macedonia on Saturday Dec. 21 2013

A woman wearing a gas mask participates in a protest against air pollution in Skopje Macedonia on Saturday Dec. 21 2013

Plus healthcare workers have been infected, and Salama said infected healthcare workers can spread the virus to people they are caring for. Information about the outbreak in Bikoro, Iboko, and Wangata health zones in Equateur province was still limited, WHO added in the statement.

The global body also said that the current state of the outbreak does not require a declaration of a "public health event of worldwide concern".

The disease is endemic to the Democratic Republic of Congo, and this is the nation's ninth outbreak since the discovery of the virus in the country in 1976.

Thirty-nine reported cases, including at least 18 deaths - that's the latest Ebola count from Monday, May 14. However, it is being taken very seriously given the recent history of Ebola outbreaks and proximity of this area to the Congo River, linking local populations to the major cities of Kinshasa, Brazzaville and Bangui.

Currently, WHO considers the public health risk of the outbreak to be high at the national level, moderate at the regional level and low at the worldwide level.

A massive outbreak that started in 2014 left more than 11,300 people dead in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

According to the World Health Organization statement, there was a case fatality rate of almost 50 percent. Merck has given its permission for the vaccine to be used in this outbreak.

The WHO said on Friday it hoped to deploy an experimental Ebola vaccine to tackle an outbreak. According to researchers, the vaccine had an efficacy rate of 100 percent: Of the almost 6,000 patients vaccinated, all were declared Ebola-"free" after 10 days. Some deaths occurring as early as January have not yet been linked to the epidemic. "We have to get ahead of the curve and make promising diagnostics, drugs and vaccines for diseases we know could be a threat in the future".

WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus visited Bikoro on Sunday and positively assessed the speed with which the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo declared the outbreak.

WHO is working with the Ministry of Health and MSF to conduct ring vaccination using the investigational recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus-Zaire Ebola virus (rVSV-ZEBOV).

"That's our plan. And so far things are going as planned", Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, told Branswell on Sunday.

Given the lack of a pharmaceutical weapon against Ebola, health experts have responded with time-honoured measures of control, prevention and containment.

Ebola is a viral hemorrhagic fever that predominantly affects humans and nonhuman primates, like monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees, according to the CDC.

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