The World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated its increasing concerns
The Ebola crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has exploded as aid workers are now ‘blocked off’ from ‘“no-go zones” to access dying victims.
Due to access being blocked to Health officials by no-go zones, medical workers are unable to bring aid to many areas.
A top Harvard Professor has warned that the disease could go global and could infect counties like the US and Europe.
Dr. Ashish Jah warned that the fast-paced spread of the disease to the urban city of Mbandaka has illustrated how quickly Ebola can go viral.
The DailyStar reports: The North Kivu has been ravaged by armed ethnic conflict between Congo’s military and the Hutu Power group Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) since 2004.
Meanwhile, health authorities in Congo are scrambling to contain the outbreak as neighboring countries Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda are braced for it to spread across borders.
A total of 78 Ebola cases have been confirmed and 1,500 people have been identified as contacts of infected people, according to official WHO figures.
“We don’t know if we are having all transmission chains identified,” WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said in a press conference in Geneva.
“We expect to see more cases as a result of earlier infections and infection developing into illness.”
On Tuesday WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expressed concerns that the virus would be harder to contain after visiting North Kivu, where the outbreak is concentrated.
“Before I went there I was really worried because of the different nature of the Ebola outbreak in eastern DRC,” he told a press conference.
“But after the visit I am actually more worried because of what we have observed there first hand.”
He said the conditions in North Kivu, where around 100 armed groups are operating, make it more likely that the deadly hemorrhagic fever will spread.
“The environment is really conducive for Ebola to transmit freely,” said Dr Tedros. “This is a very dangerous outbreak.
“What makes the outbreak in eastern DRC or northern Kivu more dangerous is there is a security challenge – there is active conflict in that area.”
The challenges of containment will alarm health officials after an unprecedented outbreak of the disease between 2014 and 2016 killed more than 11,000 people across western Africa.
Cases of the disease, a type of viral hemorrhagic fever, were confirmed in Britain, Italy, Spain and the United States, where one person died.
The epidemic of 2014 to 2016 was the most widespread outbreak of Ebola in history, plaguing countries such as Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone with death and economic woe.
In June 2016, the outbreak was officially declared over, but the virus is still present in several African countries.
People who remain most at risk are those who care for infected people or handle their blood or fluid, such as hospital workers, laboratory workers and family members, according to NHS guidance.
To date, the latest outbreak is the ninth time Congo has been struck by the disease, which kills between 25-90% of those affected.
The most recent outbreak of Ebola in Congo was declared contained in July 2017, having killed four out of the eight it infected.