World Health Organization chief: Visit to DRC left me 'more worried' about Ebola

WHO spearheading efforts to contain Ebola in the DRC

The Democratic Republic of Congo is testing a new treatment to help people who've contracted Ebola in the country's latest deadly outbreak of the disease.

As the region was sprinkled with so-called "red zones", or inaccessible areas where Ebola could hide, and with a high population density and movement in the region which has already hosted more than one million internally displaced people, it has posed a huge challenge for the World Health Organization and partners to deliver urgently needed support to the area, Tedros warned.

In this region, the health officials are also beginning the use of experimental mAb114 Ebola-treatment drug on patients at a center in Mangina.

Forty-one people have died in the latest outbreak of Ebola in DRC, health authorities said on Tuesday, adding that doctors were using a novel drug to treat patients.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Tuesday that he's even more anxious about the latest Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) after his recent visit to the country, mainly because of the intense security challenge in the virus-hit areas.

"That environment is really conducive for Ebola to transmit freely, because in that area there are places called red zones, inaccessible areas", Dr. Ghebreyesus said.

The epicentre of the current outbreak is in Mabalako in North Kivu province.

Ebola causes serious illness including vomiting, diarrhea and in some cases internal and external bleeding.

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Developed in the United States, the prototype drug is a so-called single monoclonal antibody - a protein that binds on to a specific target of the virus and triggers the body's immune system to destroy the invader.

The WHO chief said the risk of global spread is low. It is often fatal if untreated. "Every time, we learn something new about treatments and vaccines which are still in the experimental phase - there is a lot of potential there", Segoni said.

"The virus is risky to us all", Tedros said.

He repeated his call for warring parties in conflict-riven North Kivu to stop fighting and allow health team access to areas affected by the recent Ebola outbreak in the region.

The WHO chief also reported that seven health workers had been infected to date, explaining that this presents additional challenges for the response.

Thanking donors for their support in helping defeat the previous outbreaks in the Equateur Province, Ghebreyesus called on the global community to "speed up the financing" to respond to this new crisis.

"We have started with health workers, and we have already vaccinated more than 216".

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