Could ebola spread to flow of refugees traveling through infected areas?


EXCERPT: . . . The outbreak is the second-deadliest and second-largest in history, topped only by one in West Africa in 2014, when the disease killed more than 11,000 people, according to the World Health Organization.

Those intimately affected include health care workers, some of whom have traveled to the region from other nations. An American who was providing medical assistance in Congo experienced a possible exposure to the Ebola virus and is being monitored for symptoms in the United States, according to a statement from the Nebraska Medical Center on Saturday. The medical center did not disclose the person's identity due to privacy concerns.

North Kivu province, which includes the cities of Beni, Kalunguta and Mabalako, remains the epicenter of the outbreak, though cases have been reported in neighboring Ituri province, according to the World Health Organization. The two provinces are among the most populous in the nation and border Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan.

Not only is North Kivu experiencing this deadly Ebola outbreak, but long-term conflict smolders there, with 50 armed groups causing intermittent violence, according to WHO. The UN public health agency estimates that more than a million refugees and internally displaced people are traveling through and out of North Kivu and Ituri, and this movement is a potential risk factor for the spread of Ebola. Another complication: a high number of malaria cases in the region....


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