WHO advises enhanced Ebola virus surveillance


THE WORLD Health Organisation has advised countries to enhance Ebola virus surveillance and preparedness activities. According to a statement, the WHO has advised against any restriction of travel and trade to the Democratic Republic of Congo due to the outbreak.

“As investigations continue to establish the full extent of this outbreak, it is important for neighbouring countries to enhance
surveillance and preparedness activities. WHO will continue to work with neighbouring countries to ensure health authorities are alerted and prepared to respond,” the statement read in part.

The WHO added that it continued to monitor travel and trade measures in relation to the Ebola outbreak. The WHO further indicated that geographically, confirmed and probable cases were currently localised to five health zones in North Kivu
Province (38 cases, including 13 confirmed and 25 probable), and one health zone in Ituri Province (five probable cases).

“Suspected cases are currently under investigation in one additional health zone of Ituri Province. The affected areas host over one million displaced people and shares borders with Rwanda and Uganda, with frequent cross border movement due to trade activities. The prolonged humanitarian crisis and deterioration of the security situation is expected to hinder response to this outbreak,” the WHO stated.
The world health mother body added that further laboratory testing had detected Ebola-virus in three of the initial batch of six samples from Mabalako Health Zone.
“These results are highly suggestive that Ebola Zaire species is the cause of this outbreak; however, genetic sequencing is necessary to definitively confirm the virus species…characterization of viral sequences will help to inform the potential use of vaccines and therapeutics, and any link to the recent outbreak in Équateur Province-located in the far west of the country, some 2 500 km from the current outbreak. Currently there is no evidence to suggest that these events are related,” added the WHO.

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