A new Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has seen an 800 percent increase in infected persons in just one week, and it has many wondering whether it could be a prelude to the type of outbreak the world experienced in 2014.
The New York Times says an outbreak in an isolated corner of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has seen 29 people infected so far, up from three the week before.
While it can’t yet be compared to the outbreak which killed 11,000 people in 2014, the World Health Organization — much criticized for its actions back during that outbreak — said it won’t make the same mistake this time.
Dr. Peter Salama, head of the WHO’s health emergencies program, said that they would “never, ever underestimate Ebola” and would “make sure we have a no-regrets approach to this outbreak.”
However, they noted that it was severe and spreading in a part of the country where health services and the ability to keep an eye on infected individuals was minimal.
“Risk at the regional level is moderate due to the proximity of international borders and the recent influx of refugees from Central African Republic,” a statement from the WHO said.
However, they added that the risk of a global outbreak was low.
“It’s important to note that Likati Health Zone is one of the most remote parts of the DRC. It is 1400 kilometers from Kinshasa and 350 kilometers from the nearest major town, Kisangani,” Salama said, according to a release from the U.N. News Centre.
The release also noted that “(a)n experimental vaccine for Ebola is being tested in Guinea, where the first outbreak of Ebola in West Africa was reported.”
The new cluster of cases is the eighth such outbreak in the DRC in the past 41 years. One can only hope that this time it’s better contained than it was back in 2014.
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H/T RedFlag News