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Three States on high alert over Ebola outbreak in DRC

Author : | Published: Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Tombura State bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo has closed their borders as a precautionary measure against Ebola infiltration into South Sudan.

Officials in two other States; Maridi and Yei River say they have taken preemptive actions in response to the outbreak of Ebola in the DRC.

Over the weekend, the World Health Organization declared an outbreak in the DRC, after one confirmed death.

South Sudan borders the Democratic Republic of Congo in the Western and South western parts.

In Tombura, Governor Patrick Raphael Zamoi says the road from Ezo County to the D.R.C has been closed and no movement will be allowed.

“The border in Ezo County has a road that cross to Nabiapai that cross to DR Congo. That is the road that we have closed, until necessary steps are taken in order to avoid this Ebola coming to South Sudan especially in Tombura State,” Zamoi said.

He said that the local population has already been informed of the closure.

“All these measures always have it’s impact on the movement of the community but it is a social fact that prevention is better than cure,” he added.

Several other states that are close to the border areas have also started taking precautionary measures.

In Maridi State, the Governor, Africano Monday the government is sensitizing the public to monitor any movement of people from areas that are close to the border.

“Our major worry is the main entry point into Gbudwe State, that is Nabiapai. When there is an influx of people or movement of people, there is likely effect on our state,” Africano said.

Mr. Africano also said the state is carrying out the awareness through the local media.

“We were able to building some awareness in terms of their level of interactions and so forth and also to keep a close eye watching over individuals who might have probably traveled beyond our borders and then crossing into Maridi State,” Africano added.

Meanwhile, in Yei River, the Governor David Lokong’a says the state is waiting for the Ministry of Health to take necessary steps.

But he says the area is not at high risk because it is local far from the area where the Ebola outbreak was declared.

“In fact in the West and in the South West, where we have entry points to the Republic of South Sudan are through my state. The area of the outbreak is more than 800 miles from Yei River State. I think there is no cause of alarm,” Lokong said.

On Monday, the National Minister of Health, Dr. Riek Gai Kok said a team will be deployed at the Juba International airport to test travelers entering the country.

More than 11,000 people died in the Ebola outbreak in West Africa between 2014 and 2015, mainly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans. The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.

The World Health Organization says good outbreak control relies on applying a package of interventions, namely case management, infection prevention and control practices, surveillance and contact tracing, a good laboratory service, safe burials and social mobilization.

It further says early supportive care with rehydration, symptomatic treatment improves survival. There is as yet no licensed treatment proven to neutralize the virus but a range of blood, immunological and drug therapies are under development.

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