WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus visited Bikoro on Sunday and positively assessed the speed with which the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo declared the outbreak. "I think we can - all is ready now to really use it", he said.
This is the DRC's ninth Ebola outbreak since the discovery of the virus in the country in 1976.
This latest outbreak offers a reminder of the 2014 West Africa Ebola outbreak, which infected more than 28,000 people. Plus, WHO said, the DRC is relatively well-prepared to handle Ebola.
The WHO Director General, Deputy Director General for Emergency Preparedness and Response together with the WHO Regional Director for Africa will be in Kinshasa on 13 May to review operations and discuss further support to the Ministry of Health.
Last week Daily Star Online revealed that World Health Organization were preparing for the "worst case scenario". In this case, the remoteness of Bikoro - some 240km by dilapidated road southwest of the provincial capital of Mbandaka, a city of about a million people - may both aid and complicate containment efforts. However, the proximity of the affected area to the Congo River, which links to the Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic, increases the risk of cases occurring in neighboring countries.
"The overall risk is considered high at the national level due to the nature of the disease", World Health Organization said. Towards the end of the crisis, people were treated with antibodies of survivors.
The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission, either through direct contact with bodily fluids such as blood or secretions or contact with materials that are contaminated with these liquids. Three health care workers are among the cases and one has died. It takes 15 days to get to the area by motorbike, so Salama said officials were talking about coordinating helicopter flights and clearing a runway for plans to land. "The vaccines are going to arrive on Wednesday or Thursday". The idea is to vaccinate people who know someone who has been infected and the people who know those people, in an expanding "ring" around the infections.
Only two cases have so far been confirmed in a laboratory. The most recent happened a year ago, when four people in Likati in the northern part of the country died.
Researchers who tested it used the same strategy that was used to eradicate smallpox in the 1970s.