The World Health Organization has disclosed its worries as the number of the newest Ebola cases amidst Congo’s current outbreak are in patients that are not normally infected: babies.
According to a publication this week, the U.N. health agency announced 36 new verified cases of Ebola, as well as seven in newborn babies and infants that were younger than 2 years old. Six other cases were declared in children from age 2 and 17. Also, one of the cases was in a pregnant woman.
While Ebola normally infects adults, considering that they are more exposed to the deadly virus, children in some instances have been known to catch the disease when they play the role of caregivers.
Some cases of Ebola in babies have been recorded, but experts guess that the transmission might happen through breast milk or close touch with infected parents. Ebola is usually transferred by infected bodily fluids.
WHO noted that health centers have been identified as a source of Ebola transmission, with injections of medications “a notable cause.”
WHO describes Congo’s current epidemic as “complex and challenging.”
Congo’s health ministry asserted that there are 346 confirmed cases, along with 175 deaths, it now ranks the worst Ebola outbreak in the history of the country.
The outbreak was troubled by security problems, with health workers been attacked by rebels in districts where the virus has been spreading. Earlier this month, Ebola containment operations were halted after seven U.N. peacekeepers and 12 Congolese soldiers were killed, though all activities have restarted.
The growing number of cases in children and health workers, 39 health workers have been infected so far. This indicates that the outbreak servers are having major problems tackling the virus in health clinics and assuring people to get help when they notice symptoms. This is the first case Ebola outbreak in this part of Congo.
WHO exposed that the risk of the outbreak traveling to nearby countries is still “very high” though it does not advise travel restrictions. Uganda started vaccinating health workers against Ebola in highly traveled border district near the outbreak, this month.