Ebola: WHO records 62 cases, 27 deaths in Congo

Ebola: WHO records 62 cases, 27 deaths in Congo

UNICEF said June 5 that almost 300,000 people had been screened since the Ebola outbreak was confirmed May 8 by the World Health Organization.

Dr. Salama, the United Nations health agency's Deputy Director-General for Emergency Preparedness and Response, was fresh from a two-day visit to the DRC.

Four of the five approved drugs are now in the country.

"This tells us the response is having an impact in those two locations", said Salama, referring to the robust ring vaccination campaign launched 2 weeks ago with Merck's VSV-EBOV. The newest confirmed case is in rural Iboko and is linked to a probable Ebola patient who died on 20 May, the ministry said.

Ebola virus spreads through direct contact with either bodily fluids or objects contaminated by someone ill with the disease, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "And then if there is a confirmation of a case, every contact of those cases", he explained.

While Ebola's spread to a major city has complicated efforts to track all contacts of those infected, the presence of the virus in Iboko poses another world of problems.

More news: ICC overturns war crimes conviction for ex-Congolese leader Bemba

Msgr. Bomengola told CNS Ebola had "made everything more hard for the population", adding that there were fears the disease could spread down the Congo River from the trading hub of Mbandaka to Kinshasa, a city of 10 million.

On the front lines of the outbreak, health officials use a tool called contact tracing to break the chain of transmission of the Ebola virus.

World Health Organization however, said in the context of an outbreak characterized by high mortality, it can be ethically appropriate to offer individual patients investigational interventions on an emergency basis outside clinical trials.

But the Congolese health ministry said on Wednesday that "no experimental treatment has yet been given to hospitalised patients".

The Ebola outbreak coincides with political tension in Congo over preparations for long-postponed December elections as well as violence by armed groups in several provinces.

Most recently, a team of Chinese experts will arrive in Kinshasa on Friday to join the worldwide effort, which includes nations from the European Union, Japan and the United States in assisting the Congolese health authorities, according to the Ministry of Health.

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