Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday it would convene an emergency committee to decide whether Congo's Ebola outbreak is a public health emergency of worldwide concern as confirmed cases and deaths from the virus have spiralled out of control. The Committee will gather this Wednesday, October 17th, in Geneva to discuss whether this recent Ebola outbreak represents a public health crisis of global concern and what are the recommendations that should be developed to address this epidemic.
The Committee's opinions and suggestions would be made public on the World Health Organization website and at a press briefing on the same day.
Monday's announcement came Congo's health ministry said that in the past week alone 33 people were confirmed with Ebola virus and 24 of them died.
The current outbreak has been wreaking havoc on the region since August and reported cases have been on the rise as violence has also spread throughout the region by armed groups. The latest epidemiological status update on the Ebola Virus Disease as of October the 13th, 2018, shows that a cumulative 211 cases of hemorrhagic fever have been identified in the area, including 176 cases confirmed and 35 probable.
In a new approach to increase community engagement and surveillance integration, members of the community in 12 neighborhoods across the Beni Health Zone have partnered with health workers to promote prevention methods.
Last week a U.N worker in the Democratic Republic of Congo tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus. In the words of Tom Frieden, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): "If Ebola had not been rapidly contained in Lagos, Nigeria, a densely populated city with many worldwide airline connections, the disease most likely would have spread to other parts of Nigeria, elsewhere in Africa, and possibly to other continents". A total of 32 of these patients have recovered and 20 remain now hospitalized. The bordering nations remain on high alert and vaccination preparedness strategies are being implemented in Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda, and Burundi as a precaution.