Ebola: Doctor Infected Within Congo’s High Insecurity Zone
A doctor has been hospitalized with symptoms of the Ebola Virus in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo while 97 of his contact have been identified.
The eastern part of the country is a highly volatile and insecure area filled with armed militia and a source of worry to the World Health Organisation, WHO bereft of ideas to tackle the virus in such an insecure area.
The WHO deputy director-general for emergency preparedness and response, Dr. Peter Salama told a news conference;
“It is the first time we have a confirmed case and contacts in an area of high insecurity. It is really the problem we were anticipating and at same time dreading.
The town of Oicha is almost entirely surrounded by Allied Democratic Forces (ADF Ugandan Islamist militia, there are extremely serious security concerns.” he said, while adding that the group held hostages.
The latest Outbreak of Ebola in the Congo occurred one week after the country had been certified Ebola free by the WHO after the last outbreak in northwestern Equateur province killed 33 people. This latest outbreak hit the Kivu Province in the Southern end of the vast country.
The Congolese health ministry said four additional experimental therapeutic molecules (ZMapp; Remdesivir; Favipiravir; and Regn3450 – 3471 – 3479).
Although the drugs have not been licensed yet, they have undergone safety trials alongside an additional prototype treatment called mAb114, whose use was announced on Aug. 14.
According to the Health Ministry;
“The first therapeutic drug against the virus to be used in an active Ebola epidemic in the DRC, mAB114, has so far been given to 10 patients “who are responding positively.”
The experimental treatments are being used alongside an unlicensed vaccine called rVSV-ZEBOV, which was shown to be safe and effective in previous trials in an Ebola epidemic in West Africa.
The health ministry also revealed that immunisation with rVSV-ZEBOV has been given to 2,179 front-line health workers battling the Ebola epidemic.
This latest Ebola outbreak is the 10th to hit the Democratic Republic of Congo since the virus was first discovered in 1976.