WHO sounds regional warning over Ebola outbreaks in Congo, Guinea

FILE PHOTO: Mike Ryan, Executive Director of the World Health Organisation (WHO) attends a news conference on the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland May 3, 2019. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

GENEVA (Reuters) – An outbreak of Ebola in Democratic Republic of Congo and Guinea poses a regional risk that requires exceptional vigilance, a senior World Health Organization official said on Monday.

Congo has confirmed four cases of Ebola since a resurgence of the virus was announced on Feb. 7 in Butembo, the epicenter of a previous outbreak that was declared over last June.

An Ebola vaccination campaign has begun in Butembo, in eastern DRC, the WHO said in a tweet on Monday. Separately, the West African country of Guinea declared a new Ebola outbreak on Sunday, with seven confirmed cases and three deaths.

“We have to be exceptionally vigilant, highly alert,” Mike Ryan, WHO’s top emergency expert, told a news briefing.

“This disease (Ebola) represents a regional risk”

The Ebola virus causes severe vomiting and diarrhea and is spread through contact with body fluids.

(Reporting by John Revill, John Miller, Michael Shields in Zurich, Kate Kelland in London, Editing by William Maclean)

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