Infection alert after dying Ebola patients taken to Congo prayer meeting

Two dozen vaccinators including Congolese and Guineans who administered the vaccine in their country during the

Infection alert after dying Ebola patients taken to Congo prayer meeting

Antho Buka, who sells meat and fish at the Wahi market at a port in Kinshasa said she was surprised residents in Kinshasa are anxious about Ebola, since it is in the northwest Equateur Province.

Ebola, a virus-caused haemorrhagic fever that spreads through contact with bodily fluids, is both highly infectious and extremely lethal.

The World Health Organization's (WHO) representative in Congo, Yokouide Allarangar, said one was found dead and another was sent back to the hospital and died shortly afterwards. "The priority of the government is to ensure that all these courageous health professionals can do their job safely".

As of Thursday, Congo's health ministry reported 31 confirmed Ebola cases, 13 probable cases and eight suspected cases.

The Department for Health and Social Care provided an additional £4 million to the World Health Organisation's Contingency Fund For Emergencies in March 2018.

The WHO chief also underlined that the coordination among global health partners was essential, too, before highlighting that even he had problems in accessing rural Bikoro to see the problem first-hand, during his visit to the area shortly after the beginning of the outbreak. There have been 27 deaths so far, with three deaths confirmed as Ebola.

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.

Georgette Boluka also said that with all the teams going into Bikoro and the Equateur Province to fight Ebola, she hopes it will not spread.

Salama said in just the two weeks since the outbreak was declared, clinical care facilities have been set up, an air bridge has been established to Bikoro, emergency financing has been mobilised, protective gear and emergency medical kits have been supplied.

Pharmaceutical giant Merck has provided more than 8,000 doses of its experimental Ebola vaccine and will make an additional 8,000 doses available to World Health Organization in the coming days. "However, the most effective measures remain the respect of hygiene measures, the rapid management of cases, and the follow-up of contacts", he added. There are around 80 ports between the two cities.

Members of a Red Cross team don protective clothing before heading out to look for suspected victims of Ebola
KARSTEN VOIGT AP Members of a Red Cross team don protective clothing before heading out to look for suspected victims of Ebola in Mbandaka Congo

More than 11,300 people died in an Ebola outbreak in the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone between 2013 and 2016.

Successful use of the vaccine requires response planners and vaccination teams to hit the right notes on several challenging communications messages, said Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, a public-private partnership that assists developing countries with immunization programs. "One of the lessons we learned in our response to other deadly Ebola outbreaks is that complacency can kill".

Contacts who developed Ebola in the nine days after vaccination were excluded because they would have been infected before they were vaccinated, or contracted the virus before their immune systems had time to mount a response to the vaccine.

The US Agency for International Development on Tuesday said it was contributing another up to US$7 million (NZ$10.1 million) to combat the outbreak on top of the US$1 million (NZ$1.4 million) it committed last week.

Is it safe to travel to the Republic of Congo?

"The risk of spreading within the country and to neighbouring nations remains real", said Dr Fatoumata Nafo-Traore, IFRC's regional director for Africa.

This is the ninth Ebola outbreak in Congo since 1976, when the disease was first identified.

Two Ebola patients, therefore under treatment escaped from the Ebola treatment center.

Symptoms of Ebola typically include weakness, fever, aches, diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain, which are common enough to be thought of as flu or malaria at first. In some cases, the virus is spread from contact with someone who has died from the disease.

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