Congo Ebola cases present high national but low global risk

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The African Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently activated its Emergency Operational Centre in response to the recently-declared Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in order to develop a concept of operations for the emergency.

Ross A. World Health Organization confirms second Ebola case in Congo outbreak [news release].

"However we can not underestimate the logistic and practical challenges associated with this response in a very remote, insecure part of the country", he said.

The vaccinations, which will not be provided to the general population but only to current cases' contacts, need to be kept at -80 degrees centigrade.

"As of now, we do not know the full extent of the outbreak, and as we deploy teams over the next few weeks, we will begin to understand ... exactly what we're dealing with", Salama told reporters on a telephone briefing.

Adewale also disclosed that the cases of the meningitis scourge in the country had dropped though "there is still a challenge in treating the infected persons after difficulties in diagnosing them at the first instance". The most recent was in 2014, around the time more than 11,000 people died and some 28,000 cases were reported in the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, mainly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Therefore, Port Health Authorities have been advised to intensify existing screening procedures at all ports of entry with first responder teams being put on alert. Yesterday, the first Ebola treatment center opened in the Lakati public hospital. The death rate is high, often surpassing 50 percent, particularly with the Zaire strain, which has been confirmed in two cases in this outbreak.

The first six months of the response to the outbreak are expected to cost the World Health Organization and aid groups $10 million, Salama said at the briefing.

But Moeti said she's "optimistic" that the outbreak will be halted quickly. He added that workers are shipping in personal protective equipment, constructing and deploying a mobile lab for diagnostic testing, and repairing airstrips and telecommunications facilities.

The country "has considerable experience and capacity in confronting these outbreaks", Dr. Daniel Bausch, an Ebola expert at the World Health Organization, said in an e-mail.

"As you can imagine, in an area without telecommunications, without road access, without large-scale electrification, this is going to be an enormous challenge", Salama said. "We're expecting to get to the epicenter by the weekend".

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