One new Ebola death in Congo has now brought the total to twelve confirmed deaths, according to the local health ministry. In their most recent statement Sunday, this death occurred in a northwestern Equateur province called Iboko. There are now thirty-five confirmed Ebola cases in Congo with four new suspected cases in Iboko; gaining major concern with local health officials.
Three areas in the Equateur province Iboko, Bikoro, and the provincial capitol Mdbandaka, which has 1.2 million people in a major transportation hub along the Congo River; has health workers identifying people that were in contact with the confirmed Ebola deaths. Saturday, a helicopter with Congo’s health minister on board, flew to Iboko and Bikoro to administer a new experimental vaccine to the health works being deployed to investigate those in contact with the confirmed dead. UNICEF, the World Health Organization, and health minister Oly Ilunga are set to administer the experimental vaccine on Monday.
In a report by Gizmodo, the four confirmed Ebola cases in Mbandaka has the vaccination campaign administering the vaccine to one-hundred health workers who will be on the front lines and have the highest risk of coming into contact with the virus, which spreads by bodily fluids in the dead and those infected with Ebola. The World Health Organization is providing information that the next few weeks are vital for containing the outbreak and said it can be controlled.
The sheer number of people in populated epicenters with separate cases of Ebola has in fact, infected health workers and this makes it very difficult to monitor the contacts of infected people in these regions. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General, said Saturday in a meeting in Geneva that he’s committed to stopping this outbreak at all cost. Right now, six-hundred contacts have been identified. WHO is applying a “ring vaccination” method on anyone suspected or infected, and who have come in contact with Ebola.
International trade and travel restrictions have been put on high-alert and WHO is working hard to prevent Ebola from spreading to nine different countries with talking closely with the country’s officials. Ebola has broken out nine times since 1976 and is the origin of hemorrhagic fever. Symptoms of Ebola include vomiting, fever, muscle pain, diarrhea, and external or internal bleeding. Depending on the strain, the virus can be deadly up to 90 percent of all cases and there is no special treatment for Ebola.