Dust off your biohazard suits, Ebola-chan is back! Racking up 39 reported cases and 19 deaths, a case fatality rate of 49%, that's already six times her kill count last year.
As of May 8th, the WHO has declared a “Public health emergency of international concern” in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Sending rapid response teams, 50 experts, and $1 million US Federal Reserve Notes, from a contingency fund for emergencies, to assist in containing the outbreak. It seems they're leaving the bulk of the heavy lifting up to The Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo again as well. Which comes as no surprise, it's not their first rodeo, but this time around the stakes are a bit higher.
A Red River Of Love
The DRC has enjoyed 8 Ebola outbreaks over the years, typically afflicting rural areas. However, the proximity of the affected area to the Congo River, which links with both the capitals of the Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic, two cities with a combined population of 12 million.
In addition, WHO's Africa director, Matshidiso Moeti, told Reuters on May 13th that 2 of the 362 contacts being tracked for possible Ebola infection had already made their way into the provincial capital, Mbandaka, a city of 1 million people. So even now, she may be well beyond the control of the WHO or the DRC MOH.
Despite all this, The WHO advises against any restriction of travel and trade to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and currently, there are no restrictions of the international traffic in place. Thanks based WHO.
Traffic on the Congo River