According to the Daily Star, health agencies confirmed that two of the three fugitives from the quarantine may have spread the virus before dying. Government officials are now worried that the deadly and highly infectious disease could spread as victims fail to grasp the seriousness of being infected.
The virus appears to be spreading despite 7,540 vaccines being distributed in the DRC by the World Health Organization. Another 8,000 doses are due to be provided in the coming days.
One doctor said the world is “on the knife’s edge” of another outbreak.
“We are on the epidemiological knife edge,” Dr. Peter Salama, the World Health Organization’s deputy director.
“The next few weeks will really tell if this outbreak is going to expand to urban areas or if we are going to be able to keep it under control.”
So far, seven of the confirmed Ebola cases have been found in urban settings. Doctors say the outbreak has “potential to expand.” Following a meeting with reporters, Dr. Peter Salama said the outbreak “could go either way in the coming weeks.” At last count, 27 people have died and at least 58 cases have been reported in the DRC since May 8.
“We are working around the clock to make sure it [goes] in the right direction,” he said.
According to Al Jazeera, the fatality rate for those infected with Ebola is roughly 50%. The DRC’s present Ebola outbreak – its ninth since the virus was identified in 1976 – initially appeared confined to a remote village in the country’s northwestern province, but no more.
One case was confirmed last week in the city of Mbandaka, home to 1.2 million people.
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