World Health Organization prepares for worst case Ebola scenario, hopes to deploy vaccine

World Health Organization prepares for worst case Ebola scenario, hopes to deploy vaccine

The worst-ever Ebola outbreak started in December 2013 in southern Guinea before spreading to two neighbouring west African countries, Liberia and Sierra Leone, killing more than 11,300 people out of almost 29,000 registered cases. Formenty, a veteran of many Ebola outbreaks, noted that there have been suspected cases in at least two locations-Bikoro and a village called Ingende, which is almost 40 miles away on roads that can only be traveled on motorbikes. Of the 21 initially reported cases on 8 May 2018, 17 had epidemiological links (potential contacts with another suspect case).

Sicily Kariuki, the Cabinet Secretary for Health, said the government has deployed 100 medical experts at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), the main port of entry to screen and test travelers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and a further 160 on standby for any eventuality.

The province of Equateur has an estimated population of 2.5 million people with 284 registered health facilities. Medical supplies are provided by worldwide bodies, but stock outs are frequent.

The country's health minister on Thursday announced the first death since the outbreak was declared early this week, though the heamorrhagic fever blamed for the death has not been confirmed as Ebola.

In terms of funding, World Health Organization has released $1 million from its Contingency Fund for Emergencies, which is expected to last for the next three months.

"WHO will work closely with health authorities and partners to support the national response".

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The cases include three healthcare workers, one of whom has died, Salama said.

The current risk of Ebola spreading to nearby countries is moderate, based on the WHO's assessment.

Active surveillance activities among the community, the Ikoko-Impenge health centre team and Bikoro General Reference Hospital are being undertaken.

To date, the outbreak is reported in a remote area and appears to be geographically limited. The WHO was especially concerned about the possible spread to neighbouring Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic, which have connections to the affected area through the river systems.

Information is now limited and investigations are ongoing to assess the full extent of the outbreak.

"There is no case of Ebola in Kenya and indeed we have intervention measures just in the event that anything occurs", she said, adding that the Ministry has in the meantime formed National Emergency Council in a move meant to prevent any importation of the disease into the country.

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