US Urged to Send Ebola Experts in as Congo Outbreak Worsens

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Late Thursday, the World Health Organization declared this outbreak second only to the devastating West Africa one that killed more than 11,000 people from 2014 to 2016.

Of the total cases, 379 have been confirmed, and 47 are probable wherein an additional 87 suspected are under investigation, said the health ministry.

The country has suffered 10 Ebola outbreaks since the virus was discovered there in 1976. Teams with the World Health Organisation and DRC's health ministry venture out on virus containment missions accompanied by United Nations peacekeepers or other armed security in areas where gunfire echoes daily.

Explaining the World Health Organization-backed initiative, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said "randomised control trial" in DR Congo was a "giant step" that would "bring clarity about what works best, and save many lives in years to come".

And, this Ebola outbreak could easily spread throughout Africa.

On November 26th, the Ministry of Health of the DRC announced that a randomized control trial has begun to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of drugs used in the treatment of Ebola patients.

A WHO official talks to local women in DR Congo as part of the effort to fight Ebola
A WHO official talks to local women in DR Congo as part of the effort to fight Ebola

Salama this month predicted that the outbreak in northeastern Congo will last at least another six months before it can be contained.

Ebola has killed 240 people and infected more than 400 since July in an outbreak that shows little sign of abating. Despite that, Ebola outbreak in "red zones", areas that are inaccessible due to the looming threat of rebel groups, is a major concern.

Michelle Gayer, Senior Director of Emergency Health at the International Rescue Committee, said, "This tragic milestone clearly demonstrates the complexity and severity of the outbreak.we're witnessing how the dynamics of conflict pose a different kind of threat: a protracted outbreak is highly likely and the end is simply not in sight". Many new cases have been unrelated to known infections, alarming evidence that gaps in tracking remain.

In a separate statement on Thursday, WHO said so far 36 Ebola cases have been reported among newborn babies and children under 2.

"It is in US national interests to control outbreaks before they escalate into a crisis", one group of global health experts wrote in a commentary in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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