WASHINGTON: The United States is concerned about the Ebola outbreak in the emerging Confederation, where there are 312 confirmed and probable cases and 191 deaths, as USAID's representative said on Thursday.
"We are absolutely concerned about the ongoing epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo," said a senior USAID official who works with response teams. reuters.
"There is no comparison at this point with the epidemic that took place in West Africa in 2014." That spread to nine countries and covered more than 28,000 cases, she said.
But he is worried that the current outbreak of the outbreak was in the active conflict zone in North Kivu, making it difficult for health professionals to track down and isolate cases, the official said.
"It occurs in the area of active conflict, so physical insecurity is a constant challenge and a complication to continuous efforts in response," added the official, saying on condition of anonymity.
"At this point, we do not see cases scattered around an incredibly large geographical area," the official said, adding that most cases took place in the city of Beni and more and more often in the nearby Butembo.
In recent weeks, the number of new cases has accelerated, and neighboring Uganda has said it will begin to vaccinate some health workers against the Ebola virus in case viral haemorrhagic fever has spread from Congo.
The World Health Organization Committee said that the epidemic is not yet a public health threat with an international reach.
The USAID official said that the United States sent more than twenty technical specialists to the country to work with the Congo health ministry from the outbreak first recorded in August.
Since then, the United States has also deployed disaster and health experts from USAID and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The official refused to provide details on the responses and funding due to the threat to security of the armed groups.
Congo has experienced 10 Ebola outbreaks since the virus was discovered near its eponymous Ebola River in 1976.
The official said that lessons learned from the Ebola crisis in West Africa are now being applied in the Congo, including a better approach to treatment and isolation that allow better patient care. – Reuters