Angola is taking measures to prevent the Ebola virus disease, following its outbreak in neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to a document issued by the Angolan Health Ministry here Friday.
To date there have been 32 suspected cases in and around Bikoro in remote Equateur Province - close to the Congo River - two confirmed by laboratory testing.
Deputy Director-General of Emergency Preparedness and Response Peter Salama is reported by Reuters to have said that his outfit is "preparing for the worst-case scenario".
Health workers carry the body of a suspected Ebola victim for burial at a cemetery in Freetown, Sierra Leone, during the 2016 outbreak of the disease.
On Wednesday, a team of a dozen experts deployed by the country's health ministry arrived in the city of Mbandaka, about 100 miles from Bikoro, Ilunga says.
At least 17 people have died in DRC, the ninth outbreak recorded in the country.
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"We have strengthened the routine screening of travellers at JKIA and as well as all the entry points into the country totaling 43, in all these places", the CS said.
Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told the Washington Post that Ebola outbreaks are risky in an increasingly urbanizing Africa because once infections spread to a metropolitan area, they become much more hard to control. The virus is transmitted to human through contact with wild animals and can then be passed from person to person.
Ebola returns to Africa after 2014 outbreak claimed more than 11,000 lives, but in the USA funding cuts for Ebola response were announced this week. "WHO will work closely with health authorities and partners to support the national response".
World Health Organization says it hopes to deploy the experimental Ebola vaccine to tackle an outbreak in a remote area of the Congo Democratic Republic to prevent it spreading, particularly to the provincial capital which has over 1 million people.
"We started well, and now we need to continue well, and we'll need the support of the entire global community for this response", he said.
DR Congo has suffered a number of Ebola outbreaks in recent years, but has largely managed to contain them. "I'm in contact in the Minister of health and have assured him that we're ready to do all that's needed to stop the spread of Ebola quickly". That outbreak lasted just 42 days and four DRC residents died from the virus.