Ebola in DRC to be contained

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According to an update from the World Health Organization (WHO), new measures to surmount obstacles in responding to the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are having a positive impact and the Ministry of Health (MoH), WHO and partners are confident that the outbreak can be contained.

The report states that, during the reporting period of 7-13 November, 31 new confirmed Ebola cases were reported from Beni, Mutwanga, Kalunguta, Butembo, Vuhovi, Kyondo and Musienene and, as of 13 November, 341 cases had been reported, including 215 deaths, in 11 health zones in North Kivu Province and three health zones in Ituri Province.

WHO also stated that the risk of the outbreak spreading to other provinces in the DRC, as well as to neighbouring countries, remains very high. The vaccination of health and frontline workers at priority sites in Uganda began on 7 November, and preparations are ongoing for the vaccination of health and frontline workers in Rwanda and South Sudan.

Response measures have been strengthened, with priorities including co-ordinating the response, surveillance, contact tracing, laboratory capacity, infection prevention and control, clinical management of patients, vaccination, risk communication and community engagement, psychosocial support, safe and dignified burials, cross-border surveillance and preparedness activities in neighbouring provinces and countries.

WHO has advised against any restriction of travel to the DRC based on the information that is currently available. It said that it is continuing to closely monitor and, if necessary, verify travel and trade measures in relation to this event.