MSF prepares response plan against ebola in DRC

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Laboratory results confirmed two cases of the disease in the province of Bikoro in the northwestern part of the country. There are 18 probable cases and a dozen classified as "suspicious", according to WHO.

Some 25 suspected cases have been recorded, of whom 17 have died.

Two of the neighboring countries - the Central African Republic (CAR) and the Republic of Congo - have "a slightly higher level of risk" due to their river-based links to DRC, Salama said. WHO will also work with national authorities in planning further public health measures such as vaccination campaigns.

Salama said the affected region of the vast strife-torn central African country is very remote and hard to reach, with a dire lack of functioning infrastructure.

The response "is going to be extremely challenging, and very costly", he said.

"All it would take is one or two of these infected individuals to go into a larger metropolitan area", Osterholm said.

However, research by Kent University suggests a drive to vaccinate the entire population wouldn't be an effective way of stopping the disease spread.

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Salama said that World Health Organization was preparing for the green light and hoped to have a mobile laboratory operational over the weekend, and that both World Health Organization and the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres already had a team on the ground. The ministry and the World Health Organization have developed a plan to respond to the outbreak over the next three months.

The Congo Health Ministry said, "Our country is facing another epidemic of the Ebola virus, which constitutes an global public health emergency".

But despite the fact that during the 2014 outbreak he slammed President Barack Obama for what he called a "TOTAL incompetent" response to the possibility of Ebola cases reaching the United States, Donald Trump this week announced cuts of $252 million in funding for a USA response to a potential Ebola plague, calling the cut part of his move to stop "irresponsible Federal spending".

"This is a highly complex sophisticated operation in one of the most hard terrains on earth", Salama said. "As soon as we have the green light, we'll go for it", he said.

"DRC is more than 3,000km away, but we are already prepared for screening all the targeted areas where Ebola can come into the country".

The DRC has the means to diagnose the virus locally, get boots on the ground, and contain the spread and treat sick people.

The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission, either through direct contact with bodily fluids such as blood or secretions or contact with materials that are contaminated with these liquids.