World Health Organization raises risk assessment of Congo's Ebola outbreak

A researcher of the Atomic Energy Commission holds Ebola diagnostic tests in Marcoule

Eleven New Ebola Cases Confirmed in Congo as Outbreak Spreads REUTERS Jean Paul Pelissier

It also raised the regional risk to "high" from "moderate", but kept its assessment of the global risk at "low". The Central African Republic and the Republic of Congo are close by.

Ebola is notoriously hard to contain, though recent outbreaks in Congo have been managed swiftly by the WHO and Congolese health officials, gaining the government there a reputation as one of the continent's most prepared.

The number of confirmed Ebola cases of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has risen to 14 after the Health Ministry announced 11 new confirmed cases and one new related death in the country's northwest.

In a statement, the United Nations agency said WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus would convene an emergency committee to discuss the matter.

Apart from WHO and other United Nations agencies, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), as other humanitarian organizations, have teams on the ground, working to contain the outbreak.

Ebola has twice made it to Congo's capital in the past and was rapidly stopped. "Now that we are facing the Ebola virus we must use all the resources we have".

The post Ebola vaccine arrives in DR Congo amid outbreak appeared first on The Independent Uganda:. The WHO has sent 4,000 doses to Congo and said it will dispatch thousands more as needed in the coming days. Limited communications, health facilities and electricity, as well as the need to keep the vaccine in a "cold chain" at -60 to -80 degrees Celsius will also present challenges.

In this photo taken Saturday, May 12, health workers don protective clothing as they prepare to attend to suspected Ebola patients at Bikoro Hospital in Bikoro, Congo.

DRC has entered a "new phase of the Ebola outbreak that is now affecting three health zones, including an urban health zone", Mr Ilunga said. It is about 150 kilometers (93 miles) from Mbandaka. "Urban Ebola can result in an exponential increase in cases in a way that rural Ebola struggles to do".

The only way to stop the outbreak is to seek out all the contacts of the infected person, known as contact tracing, then isolate the infected individuals and provide proper burial for those who die, the CDC's Rollin said.

Aid organization Doctors Without Borders said 514 people believed to have been in contact with infected people are being monitored.

"This is a major development in the outbreak", said Peter Salama, the WHO's deputy director general of emergency preparedness and response. A newly confirmed case in a densely populated part of the country will complicate attempts to control the outbreak, the statement said.

This is the Democratic Republic of Congo's ninth outbreak since the disease was identified in the 1970s. The virus was initially transmitted to people from wild animals, including bats and monkeys.

There is no specific treatment for Ebola.

Symptoms include fever, diarrhea, muscle pain and at times internal and external bleeding. Ebola is fatal in about 50 per cent of cases.

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