Represents regional risk, be alert: WHO on Ebola outbreaks in Congo, Guinea


A regional risk that requires exceptional vigilance, a senior World Health Organisation (WHO) official said on Monday after Congo confirmed four cases of Ebola.

“We have to be exceptionally vigilant, highly alert. This disease (Ebola) represents a regional risk,” said WHO’s top emergency expert Mike Ryan on Monday.

An epicentre of a previous outbreak

He said that the Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo and Guinea “poses a regional risk”. His remarks came as a resurgence of the virus was announced on February 7, 2021, in Butembo.

Butembo is the epicentre of a previous outbreak that was declared over June 2020.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also tweeted on Monday, “Guinea has many years of experience battling Ebola, with skilled incident managers and vaccinators who trained DRC colleagues. Government is taking action. One of the first steps will be ensuring community understands the risks and will join in response. Their role is crucial.”

Vaccination campaign begins

“An Ebola vaccination campaign has begun in Butembo, in eastern DRC,” the WHO tweeted on Monday.

Separately, the West African country of Guinea declared a new Ebola outbreak on Sunday, with seven confirmed cases and three deaths. The Ebola virus causes severe vomiting and diarrhoea and is spread through contact with body fluids.

Double whammy?

Meanwhile, the WHO African Region tweeted on Monday, “Over 3.7 million confirmed Covid-19 cases on the African continent — with more than 3.2 million recoveries and 98,000 deaths cumulatively.”

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