The health ministry said on Tuesday that at least 17 people had died in an area of northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo where health officials have now confirmed an outbreak of Ebola, although it did not give a time-frame for the deaths.
MOH spokesperson Joshua Malango said people, including refugees, coming into Malawi are and will continue to be screened at the border for Ebola and other diseases of major public health importance.
DRC’s health minister on Thursday announced the first death since the outbreak was declared early this week, though the hemorrhagic fever blamed for the death has not been confirmed as Ebola.
Peter Salama, deputy director-general of emergency preparedness and response at the World Health Organization, said in Geneva, Switzerland, on Friday that it’s “going to be tough and it’s going to be costly to stamp out this outbreak”.
“We have also deployed medical personnel to conduct screening along the Busia and Malaba border posts with Uganda”, Kariuki said at a joint news conference in Nairobi. More than 450 million people are residing in areas affected from Ebola viruses and majority come under rural section. A new suspected case was reported on Friday.
Of these total cases, two tested positive for Ebola virus disease, according to the WHO. “We have also sent an alert to all the regional directors and Chief Executives of hospitals and all other relevant institutions”.
The latest Ebola outbreak comes after the 2014/2015 epidemic in West Africa. “The reservoir [animal] is in DRC, Gabon and the Republic of [the] Congo”, he says. In fact, during the large West Africa outbreak, another Ebola popped up in the DRC (66 cases) and was promptly detected and contained.
“Public health emergency of worldwide concern” means an extraordinary event which is determined, as provided in these Regulations: “(i) to constitute a public health risk to other States through the global spread of disease and (ii) to potentially require a coordinated global response”.
Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told the Washington Post that Ebola outbreaks are risky in an increasingly urbanizing Africa because once infections spread to a metropolitan area, they become much more hard to control.
“Occasionally people living in these rural areas will come into contact with infected animals, and the transmission cycle begins”.
Ebola is spread between humans in a variety of different ways.