Botswana institutes measures to prevent Ebola outbreak

Botswana institutes measures to prevent Ebola outbreak

Responding to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Ebola outbreak is going to be hard and costly, and though the effort is off to a good start, help from the global community is urgently needed, the head of emergency response for the World Health Organization (WHO) said today.

Congo's long experience of Ebola and its remote geography mean outbreaks are often localised and relatively easy to isolate.

The focal point is thought to be the townland of Bikoro, about 400km away from the capital.

"The problem here is that we already have three separate locations that are reporting cases that cover as much as 60km and maybe more", Salama said on Friday at the United Nations in the Swiss city of Geneva.

"We are very concerned and planning for all scenarios, including the worst-case scenario", Salama said.

The latest cases come less than a year after Congo's last confirmed Ebola outbreak in May 2017, during which eight people were infected, four of whom died. Screening had been stepped up since the latest outbreak in Congo.

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Ebola in DRC Outbreaks of Ebola have only occurred two dozen times since Ebola first was recognized in the DRC in 1976; this is the ninth outbreak to emerge in the DRC.

An Ebola pandemic quickly decimated West Africa between 2014 and 2016.

Bikoro health zone has a population of about 163,000, with three hospitals and 19 health centers, most with limited functionality, according to WHO. At the moment, he said, they are stored at minus 80 degrees by the manufacturer, Merck, Sharpe & Dohme. "As soon as we have the green light, we'll go for it", he said.

"It is basically 15 hours by motorbike from the closest town", WHO's head of emergency response Peter Salama said. In its update today, the World Health Organization estimated the cost of a 3-month global response to be $18 million.

Health CS Sicily Kariuki said: "Among the measures put in place to enhance screening are electronic thermal scanners, handgun thermal scanners and the deployment of 101 extra health workers". The WHO has reached out to experienced Ebola vaccinators from Guinea. The virus is also spread through sexual contact. A new experimental vaccine has been shown to be highly effective, though quantities are now limited. "This is a highly complex, sophisticated operation in one of the most hard terrains on earth".

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