Officials are ready to declare the Ebola outbreak affecting the Democratic Republic of Congo as a global public health emergency.
It is after the numbers showed that 18 killer virus cases were registered yesterday – the worst 24-hour total since the epidemic started nine months ago.
The data prompted the World Health Organization to reassess whether the outbreak in the African nation should be considered an international emergency.
The statement is said to be only the fifth in history, alongside the Mexican flu in 2009, the Ebola epidemic in 2014 and the Zika outbreak in 2016.
From April 10, the Ebola death toll reached 751. A total of 18 new cases were registered on April 10, the largest one-day jump since the outbreak began in August
Figures have prompted the world's health officials to meet and decide whether the outbreak has become an international public health emergency. The depicted health workers in the city of Butembo transport a newly admitted Ebola patient to a treatment center
WHO figures show the total number of people feared to have been knocked down since the epidemic that started in August, now stands at 1,186.
Another ten people have lost their lives due to the deadly disease, with the death toll rising to 751 in the outbreak located in northeastern DRC.
The WHO today requested a meeting at the Geneva headquarters to discuss the Ebola outbreak, causing fever, uncontrollable bleeding, and organ failure.
This will be the second time that WHO director Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus will be advised by a committee of 196 countries on whether or not to declare a global crisis.
The first took place in October, when officials & # 39; deep concern & # 39; – but not enough to justify a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC).
Only four PHEIC have been declared in history, being swine flu in 2009, polio in 2014, Ebola in 2014 and the Zika virus in 2016.
A PHEIC would formally warn other countries and step up international measures – although it is unclear what they would be.
& # 39; Although the risk of spreading within the country and to neighboring countries is very high, the risk remains low worldwide & # 39 ;, according to a WHO statement.
The number of reported cases of Ebola has suddenly risen sharply since mid-March following a decline
In one week, from March 31 to April 7, 65 new confirmed cases were reported, mainly from the Katwa, Mandima, Butembo and Vuhovi areas, bringing the total number of probable cases to 1,186. In the photo, a woman who cries during the funeral of a child suspected of dying in Beni in December of Ebola
WHAT MAKES THIS OUTbreak DIFFICULT TO STOP?
The current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo now takes six months.
Dr. Nathalie MacDermott, an Ebola expert at Imperial College in London, shared some of her thoughts about the situation with MailOnline.
Dr. MacDermott said: “The current outbreak has seriously challenged medical teams in practice.
& # 39; The region has suffered continuous conflict and militia activity for decades. This has affected responders' ability to connect with communities and encourage them to see medical teams early for testing and treatment.
& # 39; There was also a significant risk for medical teams, some of whom were attacked and in some cases murdered by frightened community members and militia groups operating in the region.
& # 39; As such, and despite the use of an effective vaccine, the epidemic has continued to spread to different communities.
& # 39; This was recently exacerbated by violence which prevented respondents from contacting affected communities. This was due to the fact that the affected communities could not vote in national elections. & # 39;
The sudden peak in the cases comes after a dip in the beginning of March. It is already the second largest Ebola outbreak in history.
The previous record for the highest number of cases in one day was Sunday, April 7, when 16 people were diagnosed with the virus.
65 new confirmed cases were reported between 31 March and 7 April, mainly from the Katwa, Mandima, Butembo and Vuhovi areas.
The outbreak is still centered in the province of North Kivu, as well as in the neighboring Ituri region.
Surrounding countries, including Sudan and Uganda, have not yet announced cases of the virus, but the recent leap in business has called for urgent discussions.
The DRC is punctuated with a complex of challenges that have made the virus difficult to fight – conflicts, mistrust of government, and political discontent.
The statistics suggest that interventions do not maintain the number of infected people.
The WHO said: # An increasing number of security incidents have restricted access to affected communities in key areas for vital operations such as surveillance, case investigations, contact tracing and vaccination.
& # 39; Transmission has been intensified in Butembo / Katwa and surrounding health zones of Vuhovi and Massereka.
& # 39; These factors have led to an increase in reports in recent weeks, after a period of decline. & # 39;
Alarmingly, of the ten most recent deaths, seven were in communities instead of health centers.
This means that patients are more likely to have spread the infection before being diagnosed because it may take longer to be treated.
It suggests that infection of the virus gets out of hand for health professionals, who themselves are not immune to infections.
The number of affected health professionals has risen to 85, including 30 deaths, according to the WHO.
In addition to the pressure, health workers are at further risk after a number of Ebola centers have been attacked by armed militants in recent months.
WHAT EBOLA IS AND HOW IS IT DEADLY?
Ebola, a haemorrhagic fever, killed at least 11,000 worldwide after decimating West Africa and spreading rapidly over the course of two years.
That epidemic was officially declared back in January 2016, when Liberia was announced by the WHO as Ebola-free.
The country, startled by the civil wars from start to finish that ended in 2003, was hit hardest by the fever, with 40 percent of the deaths that took place there.
Sierra Leone reported the highest number of Ebola cases, with nearly all infected residents of the nation.
WHERE IS IT STARTED?
An analysis, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found the outbreak began in Guinea – which neighbors Liberia and Sierra Leone.
A team of international researchers reduced the epidemic to a two-year-old boy in Meliandou – about 400 miles (650 km) from the capital, Conakry.
Emile Ouamouno, better known as Patient Zero, may have contracted the deadly virus by playing with bats in a hollow tree, a study suggested.
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE STRUCK DOWN?
|COUNTRY||CASES||DIALS||DEATH RATE (%)|
|SENEGAL||1||0||N / A|
|SPAIN||1||0||N / A|
|UK||1||0||N / A|
|ITALY||1||0||N / A|
The figures show that almost 29,000 people have been infected by Ebola – which means that the virus killed around 40 percent of the people affected.
Cases and deaths were also reported in Nigeria, Mali and the US – but on a much smaller scale, with 15 deaths between the three nations.
Health officials in Guinea reported a mysterious bug in the southeastern region of the country before the WHO confirmed it was Ebola.
Ebola was first identified by scientists in 1976, but the most recent outbreak magnified all others recorded in history, showing the numbers.
HOW MAN MANAGED VIRUS?
Scientists believe that ebola is usually passed on to humans through bats, but antelopes, porcupines, gorillas, and chimpanzees may also be to blame.
It can be transmitted between people through blood, secretions, and other body fluids from people – and surfaces – that are infected.
IS THERE A TREATMENT?
The WHO warns that there is no & # 39; proven treatment & # 39; is for Ebola – but dozens of drugs and injections are being tested in the event of a similar devastating outbreak.
However, there is hope, after an experimental vaccine, called rVSV-ZEBOV, protected nearly 6,000 people. The results are published in the The Lancet magazine.
. (TagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) health