Tanzania on high alert over Ebola from DRC, Guinea

By LUKE ANAMI*

People wash their hands next to an Ebola information and sanitation station in Monrovia, Liberia, on September 30, 2014. PHOTO | AFP

Tanzania is among six African countries on high alert following an outbreak of Ebola in Guinea on February 14 and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) a week earlier.

The confirmed cases this time have been reported from the southeast of Guinea about 800km by road from the capital, Conakry, but only about 100km from various border points with Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire.

Sierra Leone and Liberia neighbouring Guinea in West Africa and Tanzania which neighbours the DRC are some of the countries which the WHO has alerted over the Ebola outbreak.

The natural transmission cycle of the virus involves certain species of forest-dwelling fruit bats.

Ebola-infected animals such as non-human primates, monkeys and antelope have been reported before and could present a source of exposure to humans.

“We have already alerted the six countries around, including of course Sierra Leone and Liberia, and they are moving very fast to prepare and be ready and to look for any potential infection,” WHO’s Margaret Harris said from Geneva.

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