BENI, Congo – Recalling the dangers of halting an Ebola outbreak in a war zone, rebels in northeast Congo killed seven people and sent residents fleeing, an official told  Global Health authorities have warned that the fight against this virus outbreak by multiple armed groups in the mineral-rich region and a troubled population with 1
Uncertainty means Health workers may need to change a vaccination strategy that has proven successful in the previous Congolese Ebola outbreak, said World Health Organization chief physician Peter Salama on Saturday.
The "ring vaccine" approach of first vaccination of health workers, contacts of Ebola victims and their contacts may have to give up the approach of vaccinating all in a particular geographical area such as a village or a neighbor ood. That would require a larger number of vaccine doses.
The vaccinations began Wednesday in the current outbreak, which was declared on 1 August and killed 11 people in the densely populated region. WHO has reported more than 3,000 Ebola vaccine doses in the Congo.
While the former Ebola outbreak of the Congo, which was proclaimed barely a week before the start of the current campaign, sounded the alarm, it expanded to a city of more than 1 million. On the other side of the country comes the current outbreak the threat of an armed attack.
The Friday night attack, which killed seven people in Mayi-Moya, about 40 kilometers (24 miles) from Beni City, was likely carried out by rebels with The Allied Democratic Forces, the administrator of the Beni Territory, Donat Kibwana, the Associated said Press. The rebels have killed more than 1,500 people in and around Beni in less than two years.
The rebels sent the local population to flight, Kibwana said. Beni residents were already shaken by the discovery of 14 bodies of civilians confiscated by alleged ADF rebels.
The last attack occurred when WHO's Director General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, visited the area in response to the Ebola outbreak, which in some cases is carried out under armed escort.
"The active conflict in the area is an obstacle to the control of Ebola," Tedros said in a Twitter post Saturday night. "I call on all parties to the conflict to give safe access to all responders who support the affected population and to save lives."
United Nations peacekeepers, Congolese policemen and intermittent Congolese troops were on the verge of erupting with convoys of health workers. Hospitals are guarded by Congolese police and military police.
"This will be a very complex operation because it takes place in an area that has been involved in an armed conflict for 20 years," said Hanna Leskinen, spokeswoman for the International Committee of the Red Cross. "People are moving on a regular basis as the waves of violence force new communities to flee, which makes tracing infected cases much more difficult." Health workers could also be forced to flee, she said.
Parts of the province of North Kivu, where most cases of Ebola have been reported, were inaccessible to aid groups The fighting, Leskinen said.
"It is crucial that the disease be contained before it spreads to areas where there are more active struggles or it will be incredibly difficult to reach the needy (and) to ensure safe vaccination campaigns," said. This includes keeping the vaccines at an optimal temperature of minus 70 degrees Celsius – a challenge in a region with hot temperatures and unreliable power supply.
So far, the Congolese Ministry of Health has reported 48 cases of haemorrhagic fever. In the outbreak, 21 have been confirmed as Ebola.
Almost 1,000 people are being monitored. Screenings for the virus are performed on the busy border; Officials said that travel restrictions are not necessary.
This is the tenth outbreak of Ebola in Congo, which is spread through contact with body fluids from infected people, including the dead. There is no approved treatment, and the virus can be fatal in up to 90 percent of cases, depending on the burden.
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