Kenya health ministry issues alert on Ebola outbreak


Throughout the briefing both officials emphasized the extreme remoteness of the Lakati health province, the epicenter of the current outbreak.

About a week ago, in addition to the nine suspected cases, 125 patients who had come into close contact with the disease were being monitored.

Last week DR Congo declared an outbreak of the highly contagious disease, the eighth to date in a sprawling country five times the size of France.

To read this article in one of Houston's most-spoken languages, click on the button below. They are the first case - a 39-year-old man - a person who cared for him and a man who drove him on a motorcycle to get help. Three people have died among the suspected and confirmed cases.

He however said that the outbreak has occurred in a remote zone in DRC and that with timely effective responses in place, the disease is unlikely to spread widely in the region.

DRC's latest Ebola outbreak has so far claimed three lives, with over twenty more lives on the line.

He said that the ministry has reactivated the multiagency outbreak coordination committee comprising of public health experts in government and development partners to assess the situation.

The first Ebola treatment center was recently established in Likati, and the construction and deployment of a mobile lab is in process. Immediate repairs to air strips and telecommunications are also being carried out. "[For] the first six months [we] will need about 10 million dollars, not just for World Health Organization but for all partners responding", he said.

World Health Organization has determined overall that the risk assessment for this event is "high" at the national level, medium at the regional level and low at the global level.

But global experts are on the ground, including some WHO staffers diverted from polio control efforts, and an Ebola treatment center is up and running with a second in the works, according to Matshidiso Rebecca Moeti, MBBS, the WHO Regional Director for Africa.

Because the Ebola vaccine is still considered experimental, Congo's government must give special permission for it to be used.