WHO: 400 contacts being traced in DRC's Ebola outbreak

2017-05-18 16:33


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Dakar - Health workers are monitoring more than 400 people amid an Ebola outbreak in a remote corner of the Democratic Republic of Congo where already three deaths have been blamed on the virus, the World Health Organisation said on Thursday.

An experimental vaccine has been developed since the West African epidemic in 2014-2016 that left more than 11 000 people dead, but WHO said it is still awaiting permission from the Congolese government to use it.

The Ebola outbreak in the far north near the border with Central African Republic is the eighth in DRC since 1976. Congo has a long track record with the hemorrhagic fever, WHO said.

"However, we cannot underestimate the logistical and practical challenges associated with this response in a very remote, insecure part of the country," said Dr Peter Salama, executive director of WHO's health emergencies program.

"We've also learned never, ever to underestimate the Ebola virus disease."

Authorities believe three deaths are linked to the outbreak: a 39-year-old man who died before he could reach a hospital, the motorcyclist transporting him and a caregiver traveling with them.

So far just two cases have been confirmed by laboratory testing. There are 18 other suspected cases.

The outbreak in Likati is some 1 400km from DRC's capital, Kinshasa. Helicopters and small aircraft are carrying teams to the remote area, where they are setting up a mobile testing laboratory and making improvements to the local airstrip.

Because the Ebola vaccine is still considered experimental, DRC's government must give special permission for it to be used. WHO is still awaiting such confirmation, at which point it could take about a week to ship the vaccines to Congo and have teams ready to carry it out.

Read more on:    drc  |  world health organisation  |  central africa  |  ebola  |  health

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.