By Steve Dellar   |  05-12-2018   News
Photo credit: Twitter | @MirrorBreaking

The Ebola outbreak in Congo which made world news headlines this week has the World Health Organisation scrambling for resources in this middle African nation.

Just yesterday afternoon, the WHO placed 10 countries in the region under high alert as they admitted that local authorities were unable to account for travelling citizens who might already be infected. In fact, the first case dates back to January of this year.

<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Ebola?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Ebola</a> response in the Democratic Republic of the Congo <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DRC?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DRC</a> is going to be challenging. We are preparing for all scenarios.<br><br>Our Deputy Director-General of Emergency Preparedness and Response <a href="https://twitter.com/PeteSalama?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@PeteSalama</a> briefed the media today. <a href="https://t.co/39TRdEXI5J">pic.twitter.com/39TRdEXI5J</a></p>&mdash; WHO (@WHO) <a href="https://twitter.com/WHO/status/995034260556992513?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 11, 2018</a></blockquote>

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WHO emergency response chief Peter Salama in Geneva admitted: "We are very concerned, and we are planning for all scenarios, including the worst-case scenario."

Related coverage: http://thegoldwater.com/news/25525-Congo-New-Ebola-Outbreak-Confirmed-17-Dead-So-Far

"This is a highly complex, sophisticated operation in one of the most difficult terrains on earth."

"If we see a town of that size infected with Ebola, then we are going to have a major urban outbreak."

Related coverage: http://thegoldwater.com/news/25632-Ebola-Outbreak-Nigeria-Takes-Emergency-Measures-As-Congo-Fears-Disease-Spreading

Certain aspects of this week’s outbreak are deeply worrying the WHO. First of all, the number of suspected cases in combination with the deaths is quite significant.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">They say a picture&#39;s worth 1000 words. So&#39;s a map. Here&#39;s why <a href="https://twitter.com/WHO?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@WHO</a> is worried about the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Ebola?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Ebola</a> outbreak in DRC. <a href="https://t.co/hu2PVksjt3">https://t.co/hu2PVksjt3</a> <a href="https://t.co/xGt72c5YV9">pic.twitter.com/xGt72c5YV9</a></p>&mdash; Helen Branswell (@HelenBranswell) <a href="https://twitter.com/HelenBranswell/status/994655641145929728?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 10, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Secondly, those cases have by now been reported in three separate locations all some 60 kilometres apart, leading some health officials to believe that the whole area should be quarantined, something near impossible in one of the most remote areas of a country where the average travel time is 10 hours between major cities.

Mr Salama added that the risk is now the disease would spread into Congo-Brazzaville and the Central African Republic as those areas all are connected through the outbreak area through river systems.

The WHO hopes to do better this time round than during the last outbreak, back in 2014. At the time, the organisation was criticized for its slow reaction during a ravaging disease which killed 11,000 people in various West African nations.

Source:

https://twitter.com/WHO/status/995034260556992513

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