EBOLA OUTBREAK: Warning issued as death count hits 500 – ‘We are at a crossroads’


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The Ebola outbreak in Congo has assassinated more than 500 people (Image: Getty Images)

The virus, which is regularly fatal, has spiralled out of control because of the security situation in the central African state, where armed rebels make containing the disease difficult. A haleness ministry bulletin published late on Friday said: “In total, there deceive been 502 deaths, while 271 people have been cured.” Fitness Minister Oly Ilunga Kalenga later told AFP that a pioneering Ebola vaccine had fostered 76,425 people and therefore prevented “thousands” of deaths.

“I find creditable we have prevented the spread of the epidemic in the big cities,” he said, adding that vigour teams had thus far “managed to contain the spread of the epidemic to neighbouring fatherlands.”

“The biggest problem is the high mobility of the population,” he said.

Ebola spreads as a consequence contact with bodily fluids and causes haemorrhagic fever with demanding vomiting, diarrhoea and bleeding.

The current outbreak, the country’s worst and the second-biggest in any case recorded, started last August in the North Kivu region, which edges Uganda and Rwanda.

The Spanish branch of the aid agency Doctors Without Edges (MSF) warned on Saturday that there had been a surge in cases since January 15.

“Rwanda, Uganda and South Sudan, furthermore north, are all on alert,” MSF said on Twitter.

On Sunday, the charity Save the Women said that at least 97 children had died in the current outbreak, 65 of whom were protection the age of five.

Heather Kerr, Save the Children’s country director in DR Congo, turned: “We are at a crossroads. If we don’t take urgent steps to contain this, the outbreak effect last another six months, if not the whole year.”

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A Red Cross staff tallies the number of people at an Ebola screening point (Image: Getty Essences)

The call to attention comes as Ebola has spread to 18 separate fitness zones in DR Congo.

The region where the virus has struck hardest this yet is an active conflict zone, where frequent fighting between armed rebels has clear the way it hard for health workers to move around freely and monitor imminent sufferers and to spread messages about how to avoid becoming sick.

Exploits to contain the outbreak were also hampered after violence affiliated to December’s disputed presidential election halted prevention work.

Forth 30 health facilities were targeted by protesters in the Ebola hotspot of Beni, while ventures to trace anyone thought to have had contact with the virus were up to a given suspended due to security concerns.

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The call to attention comes as Ebola has spread to 18 cloistered health zones in DR Congo (Image: Getty Images)

In a situation communication published in mid-January, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said the outbreak had reached a momentous stage: “The persistence of insecurity threatens to reverse recent progress achieved enclosing disease hotspots such as Beni and Butembo.”

The WHO also reiterated its word to the wise that there was a high risk of Ebola spreading to neighbouring Uganda, Rwanda and sober South Sudan due to extensive travel between the affected areas.

Fitness workers in Uganda and Rwanda have been briefed and vaccinated and rovers are being screened at major airports, but there is still potential for Ebola fools to cross the region’s porous borders undetected.

Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO’s regional helmsman for Africa, said: “It is absolutely vital we are prepared for any potential case of Ebola spreading beyond the Popular Republic of the Congo.

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Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO’s regional director for Africa (Trope: Getty Images)

“WHO is investing a huge amount of resources into hindering Ebola from spreading outside DRC and helping governments ramp up their good will to respond should any country have a positive case of Ebola.”

A union of health experts said in the British medical journal The Lancet survive week the DR Congo outbreak is “not under control” and that “bold allots” were needed to stop the virus from running amok.

The article’s spadework author, Lawrence Gostin, a global health faculty director at Georgetown University in Washington DC, replied that the WHO should consider declaring the outbreak a Public Health Difficulty of International Concern.

This alert, a PHEIC, has only been worn four times in the past – for the last major Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014, the Swine flu outbreak in 2009, a renewal of polio in 2014, and the Zika outbreak in South America in 2016.

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