Fears ‘deadliest ever’ Ebola will infect MILLIONS as disease rapidly spreads

Tuesday, February 5, 2019
By Paul Martin

EXPERTS have begged the World Health Organisation to declare an international health emergency as the disease continues to spread.

By Rachel O’Donoghue
5th February 2019

The group of medics put their names to a letter in the Lancet yesterday calling for “high-level political, financial, and technical support to address the Ebola outbreak that started last May” in the Congo.

The current outbreak – first declared just six months ago – is already the world’s second-biggest having killed nearly 1,000 since it began.

And now there are fresh fears the epidemic is set to intensify amid warnings the spread is taking the disease closer to Goma city and has already arrived in the city of Butemba, which is home to millions of people.

The United Nations has scrambled emergency medical teams in Goma to deal with a possibly devastating outbreak in the city, with 2,000 emergency workers stationed there ready to deal with patients.

But doctors fear that if Ebola does reach the city, it will be impossible to stop as many infected people won’t even seek medical treatment.

Shocking reports have emerged of residents attacking emergency workers, who they have accused of orchestrating the epidemic.

Doctors Without Borders (Medicins Sans Frontiers) released an account of one woman, Aline Kahindo, who said it is widely believed that Ebola patients who visit hospitals are immediately put into body bags.

Other rumours include medical staff stealing people’s organs to be sold on the black market.

Laurence Sailly, the Doctors Without Borders emergency coordinator in the Congolese city Beni, said: “In this situation people might have no other choice than to seek medical help in health facilities that do not have adequate triage or infection prevention and control measures in place, which makes the risk of contamination higher.

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