'We Are Still at War' With Ebola Outbreak, WHO Director Warns
The outbreak is stabilizing in the Congo, but the battle is not yet won.
Just days after World Health Organization (WHO) officials said the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was calming, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is warning against presuming its end.
"The outbreak is stabilizing, but still the outbreak is not over," Dr. Tedros said on a visit to Kinshasa, Reuters reported. "We are still at war, and we need to continue to strengthen our surveillance and ... be very vigilant."
While acknowledging the unpredictability of infectious diseases, some experts have said that the outbreak will likely level off by the end of June, with no more than 67 cases in total.
As of June 11, there were 38 confirmed, 14 probable and 7 suspect cases of Ebola, with 28 deaths attributed to the disease, according to the WHO.
The WHO responded to the outbreak quickly, and 2,200 people have been vaccinated so far, Dr. Tedros said. He also indicated that tracing contacts of those carrying Ebola had gone well, according to Reuters.
"We have made great progress in the fight against #Ebola, but it's too early to declare victory. We must remain vigilant and continue to strengthen surveillance to stop the outbreak."—@DrTedros#DRC🇨🇩pic.twitter.com/MxNdSrYuCC— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) June 12, 2018
"It's not over until it is over. Even if one case crosses into Congo (Republic) and gets to an urban area, that could trigger another epidemic," he warned.
Initial symptoms of the Ebola virus include sudden onset of fever fatigue, muscle pain, headache, and sore throat. Then comes vomiting, diarrhea, rash, symptoms of impaired kidney and liver function, and potentially internal and external bleeding, according to the WHO.
A 2014-2016 outbreak in West Africa killed more than 11,300 people across Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. It infected some 28,600, according to Africa News.
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