Deputy Director-General of Emergency Preparedness and Response Peter Salama is reported by Reuters to have said that his outfit is "preparing for the worst-case scenario". While three of those victims made full recoveries, one - Liberian national Thomas Duncan - died of the disease in Texas more than a week after arriving in the United States. The two cases that were confirmed by a laboratory to be Ebola, were shown to be the Zaire strain of the virus. Family and friends who care for sick individuals are also at heightened risk for Ebola exposure. Around 50 per cent of patients die, according to the WHO.
According to journalist Reid Wilson, in his book Epidemic: Ebola and the global scramble to prevent the next killer outbreak,"An analysis by the White House's Office of Digital Strategy later found that Trump's tweets represented a turning point, the moment when fear of the deadly virus began to infect the American public". "It's completely different", Fall said, adding that this response was also faster than that in Congo a year ago.
"It is absolutely a dire scene in terms of infrastructure".
"To give you a sense, we are talking about an area that is 280 kilometers even from the provincial capital of Equateur", he said. "We are working with our partners to send more staff, equipment and supplies to the area".
Researchers there used the same approach that was used to study smallpox, where they identify a "ring" of people who may have come into contact with an infected person, and then vaccinated all of those people after determining they may have been at risk.
The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission. Two of those cases are confirmed to be Ebola.
Salama said he spoke to Congo's Health Minister Oly Ilunga on Thursday and hoped to get approval within days to use a vaccine developed by Merck in 2016.
Experimental vaccines and treatments for Ebola are under development, but they have not yet been fully tested for safety or effectiveness.
He said, however, that there are many complications in using an experimental vaccine, and it's not a simple logistical effort. "This is a highly complex sophisticated operation in one of the most hard terrains on earth", he said.
He said the World Health Organization had alerted the nine neighbouring countries but now regarded the risk of regional spread as "moderate".
The WHO also said there have been a total of 27 cases of fever with haemorrhagic signs, including 17 deaths, between April 4 and May 5.