1 new Ebola death confirmed in Congo, bringing total to 12

World Health Organization workers deployed medical kits in response to reports of Ebola cases in DRC

World Health Organization workers deployed medical kits in response to reports of Ebola cases in DRC

The spread of the often lethal hemorrhagic fever to a provincial capital of 1.2 million people has health officials scrambling to monitor for Ebola at busy ports in the capital, Kinshasa, which is downstream from the infected city of Mbandaka on the Congo River.

Experts who have studied the spread of Ebola believe it originated in bats alone the Congo river and infected bush meat. This includes 30 cases that tested positive for Ebola virus disease, 14 probable cases of Ebola and 14 suspected cases.

Last week, Tanzania joined neighboring Uganda and Kenya on issuing an alert following an outbreak of the fatal Ebola virus in the DRC.

Of the 10 confirmed Ebola deaths, five have occurred in Bikoro, two in Iboko and three in the Wangata area of Mbandaka.

The Congo authorities are also concerned that the disease could spread to the capital, Kinshasa, which is linked to Mbandaka by the Congo river, a busy highway. "The funds will support the World Health Organization's plan to provide a rapid, localized outbreak control".

Around 100 health workers have been vaccinated there as front-line workers face high risk from the virus, which is spread via contact with the bodily fluids of those infected, including the dead. People can get it through sexual contact, as well.

"The next few weeks will really tell if this outbreak is going to expand to urban areas or if we're going to be able to keep it under control", WHO's emergency response chief, Peter Salama, said at the United Nations body's annual assembly.

"There is massive population displacement, food insecurity and malnutrition, particularly in the east of the country, and multiple simultaneous outbreaks of cholera, of measles and recently of vaccine-derived poliovirus".

The WHO said vaccine manufacturer Merck has provided it with 8,640 doses of the vaccine and an additional 8,000 doses are expected to be available in the coming days.

Targeted vaccinations have already begun in Mbandaka and 154 people have been inoculated to date, according to Mr Jasarevic, who stressed that it would take time to identify all those who could have come into contact with an infected carrier.

"It's really the detective work of epidemiology that will make or break the response to this outbreak".

On Twitter today, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, thanked the president and U.S. government for its support of up to $8 million and thanked Azar for his contribution to global health and health security.

Following an emergency meeting today, the World Bank announced a $12 million grant toward the Ebola response surge in the DRC, marking the first use of its Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility (PEF), the group said in a statement today. Central African Republic, which is nearest to the affected Congo province, is of the greatest concern and is a priority for WHO.

"All nine countries have initiated their readiness activities", Moeti said. Meanwhile, millions of dollars from the Congolese government and global aid have been allocated to combat the spread of the deadly disease, including up to $8 million from the U.S. Agency for worldwide Development.

Health officials say they face a huge significant mistrust especially as many place more faith in clerics in white collars rather than doctors in white coats. "The next few weeks will really tell if this outbreak is going to expand to urban areas or if we're going to be able to keep it under control", Dr. Peter Salama, the World Health Organization emergencies chief, told a World Health Assembly session Wednesday.

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