WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Swift action is needed on two new Ebola outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Guinea “to avoid catastrophic consequences,” the White House said Tuesday.
“While the world is reeling from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Ebola has again emerged, simultaneously, in both Central and West Africa. The world cannot afford to turn the other way,” said a statement released Tuesday by White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, CNBC reported. “We must do everything in our power to respond quickly, effectively, and with commensurate resources, to stop these outbreaks before they become large-scale epidemics.”
The World Health Organization said last week it had confirmed cases of Ebola in Butembo, a city in the North Kivu Province in the DRC. The city was an epicenter of the second-largest Ebola outbreak in the world, which was finally declared over in June. An Ebola vaccine is being sent to the hard-to-reach city and health officials are racing to contain the highly lethal disease before it spreads widely, the WHO said.
Separately, officials in Guinea confirmed over the weekend the reemergence of Ebola in N’Zerekore, in Southern Guinea. On Sunday, after at least three people died and four others were infected with the disease, the West African nation declared an Ebola epidemic, CNBC reported. Neighboring countries Sierra Leone and Liberia have put their citizens on high alert.
Ebola spreads through direct contact with the blood or body fluids of people who are sick or who have died of the disease, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ebola has an average case fatality rate of 50 percent, though it can vary by outbreak, according to the WHO.
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