US urged to send Ebola experts to Congo as crisis worsens

US urged to send Ebola experts to Congo as crisis worsens

A deadly rebel attack in September forced health workers to halt vaccinations and the tracing of people who have been in contact with suspected Ebola patients.

It is not clear how many Centres for Disease Control and Prevention workers are now forced to tackle the outbreak from DRC's capital, Kinshasa, almost 1 600km away. Two top medical journals this week have published commentaries calling on the U.S.to change its mind and send them back where they are sorely needed.

"It is in USA national interests to control outbreaks before they escalate into a crisis", one group of global health experts wrote in a commentary in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Ebola has in the meantime killed 241 people, the ministry said in a statement late Tuesday.

Until now, over 160 patients have been treated with investigational therapeutics under an ethical framework developed by the World Health Organization, in consultation with experts in the field and the DRC, called the Monitored Emergency Use of Unregistered and Investigational Interventions (MEURI), the release said.

This clinical trial is the first-ever multi-drug trial for an Ebola treatment. Many venture out on critical virus containment missions only accompanied by United Nations peacekeepers.

Salama this month predicted that the outbreak in northeastern Congo will last at least another six months before it can be contained.

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Earlier this month, CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield suggested that one option is to "move into the idea that this becomes more of an endemic Ebola outbreak in this region".

North Kivu and Ituri are among the most populous provinces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and share borders with Rwanda, Uganda and South Sudan.

"This tragic milestone clearly demonstrates the complexity and severity of the outbreak".

The case fatality rate is now 57 percent, which the International Rescue Committee, a nongovernmental aid organization, said is higher than typically seen at this stage of an Ebola outbreak, especially since a vaccine for prevention as well as experimental drug treatment are available for the first time.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) stated this in a statement released on Thursday, November 29, 2018.

Ebola - a tropical fever which first appeared in 1976 in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo - can be transmitted to humans from wild animals. "If want to see the end of this, we do need all critical actors on the ground".

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