This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
At least two cases of Ebola have spread to an urban area in the Democratic Republic of Congo as part of the latest outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever, the nation’s health minister announced Wednesday night.
The two new cases were detected in the country’s Wangata health zones, which encompasses Mbandaka city, the capital of Equateur province, Health Minister Oly Ilung said. These are the first cases found outside the outbreak’s origin in the rural region of Bikoro — 93 miles away.
Now that the outbreak, which began May 8, is in an urban phase, the virus will have a higher spread potential, Ilung said. Epidemiologists from both the World Health Organization and Congo’s health ministry are currently working to track the victims’ potential contacts and have already identified 500 people who may have come in contact with those infected.
Identifying anyone who might have come in contact with a person infected with the hemorrhagic fever is important to stop the spread of Ebola. The WHO said it would be using a “ring vaccination” tactic to try to halt the outbreak. This strategy means that anyone who might have had contact with a confirmed victim of Ebola — and even contacts of those contacts — volunteer for a preemptive dose of the vaccine. Healthcare workers will also be vaccinated preemptively.
The country has received 4,000 dosages of the experimental vaccine from the WHO, and another shipment of 4,000 more is on the way. The WHO said additional dosages would be available as needed.
Of the outbreak’s 42 suspected Ebola cases, Congo has so far tallied 23 deaths.
It is important to note that Congo, unlike some of its fellow countries in West Africa, does not have a robust aviation network. That factor that will hopefully help contain the spread of the disease, unlike the deadly outbreak in 2014 that swept across Africa’s western region via air travel and even into the US after people who had contracted Ebola were able to board flights around the world. That outbreak claimed more than 11,300 lives.
Congo’s current outbreak of Ebola is unfolding just as US President Donald Trump declared he was cutting $252 million of the US’ Ebola emergency response funding. Those funds were left over from a nearly $1 billion grant from Congress to help West Africa stop the spread of the virus, which became a national security issue for the US after cases of the disease were confirmed in several states. The remaining $252 million of funding was earmarked for monitoring future epidemics and responses in the region.
H/T: CBS News
Featured image by JOHN WESSELS/AFP/Getty Images.
The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees