United Nations staff on way to Congo to get experimental Ebola vaccine

United Nations staff on way to Congo to get experimental Ebola vaccine

United Nations staff on way to Congo to get experimental Ebola vaccine

An Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of the Congo has a high risk of spreading internally, the World Health Organization warned Friday ahead of a meeting on whether to declare it an event of worldwide concern.

The emergency meeting is to "consider the global risks" of the deadly Ebola virus disease, which has now moved to an urban area of DRC.

The world's body raised its assessment from "high" to "very high" after the disease was confirmed in one patient in a major city.

The latest case is raising fears that in spite of a rapid response by authorities, the outbreak has not been contained.

The reassessment came after the first confirmed case in Mbandaka, a city of around 1.5 million.

At least 44 people are believed to have been infected in the current outbreak and 23 deaths are being investigated, reports BBC.

"WHO and our partners are taking decisive action to stop further spread of the virus", Ghebreyesus added.

"The arrival of Ebola in an urban area is very concerning", he said.

The essential deployment of these border health officials was made possible through United States dollars 75,000 reallocation of funds from the Government of Japan and a release of internal emergency funds totalling USD 100,000.

"WHO and partners are working together to rapidly scale up the search for all contacts of the confirmed case in the Mbandaka area".

Until now, all confirmed Ebola cases were reported from the Bikoro health zone, which is extremely hard to reach, especially during rainy season, as the roads are often impassable.

Salama, who traveled to the affected areas of Congo last weekend, said he would "certainly" be getting the vaccine before going for his next visit.

In the next few days, MSF plans the delivery of several tonnes of supplies, including medical kits; protection and disinfection kits; logistic and hygiene kits; and palliative drugs to Mbandaka.

The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals such as fruit bats and monkeys and spreads among humans through contact with bodily fluids of an infected person.

The world's worst epidemic of Ebola, a hemorrhagic fever, began in Guinea in December 2013 and swept through Liberia and Sierra Leone. People infected with the Ebola virus typically exhibit symptoms of a high temperature, headache, joint and muscle pain, sore throat, severe muscle weakness.

Related news