WHO's Congo Ebola plan assumes 100-300 cases over 3 months

WHO's Congo Ebola plan assumes 100-300 cases over 3 months

The DRC government declared the Ebola outbreak on 8 May after two cases were confirmed.

Congo's Health Ministry said late on Monday there had been 54 cases of Ebola in the outbreak - 35 confirmed, 13 probable and six suspected - and 25 deaths.

Congo's government, the World Health Organisation and aid agencies are racing to contain what could be the most risky of the Democratic Republic of the Congo's nine epidemics since it was discovered by northern Congo's eponymous river four decades ago. The was accused of bungling its response to the earlier West Africa outbreak -the biggest Ebola outbreak in history which resulted in more than 11,000 deaths. But without a vigorous response, "the situation is likely to deteriorate significantly", he said. The city of Mbandaka, which has one confirmed Ebola case, is an hour's flight from the capital, Kinshasa, and is located on the Congo River, a busy travel corridor.

The vaccination campaign will begin Monday in the rural areas of Bikoro and Iboko in the country's northwest, health ministry spokeswoman Jessica Ilunga told The Associated Press. One challenge will be keeping the vaccine cold in a region with poor infrastructure and patchy electricity. It is about 150 kilometers (93 miles) from Mbandaka.

Numerous victims died before the arrival of doctors, Bokungu said.

In a report by Gizmodo, the four confirmed Ebola cases in Mbandaka has the vaccination campaign administering the vaccine to one-hundred health workers who will be on the front lines and have the highest risk of coming into contact with the virus, which spreads by bodily fluids in the dead and those infected with Ebola.

A teacher in Mbandaka, 53-year-old Jean Mopono, said they were trying to implement preventative measures by teaching students not to greet each other by shaking hands or kissing.

The outbreak was announced in May, and according to the World Health Organization, it has been under control, with no spreading over the borders.

Several heads of schools in the area also said they would suspend school activities to protect the children. The virus is initially transmitted to people from wild animals, including bats and monkeys. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain and at times internal and external bleeding.

"Some people don't believe in the Ebola virus or in the medication provided, others are afraid of it. Cases of people leaving hospitals and refusing care have been reported, which could have dramatic consequences".

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