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Doctor Contracts Ebola Disease From Congo, A dreaded Scenario: WHO

More than 2,900 people have been vaccinated against Ebola since the outbreak began.

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A Congolese health worker administers Ebola vaccine to a woman who had contact with an Ebola sufferer in the village of Mangina in North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo
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A doctor has become the first probable Ebola case in one of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo’s “high insecurity zones” which are dogged by militia violence and hard to access, a scenario “we have all been dreading,” the WHO said on Friday.

Since the outbreak erupted on August 1, 103 confirmed and probable cases of Ebola have been identified in North Kivu and Ituri provinces, including 63 deaths, the health ministry said in an overnight update.

The doctor living in Oicha town in North Kivu has been re-hospitalised with Ebola symptoms after his wife was confirmed as having the disease when she traveled to the nearby city of Beni, said Dr Peter Salama, the World Health Organization’s head of emergency operations.

Ebola Congo
A Congolese health worker checks the temperature of a man before the launch of the vaccination campaign against the deadly Ebola virus near Mangina village, near the town of Beni in North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo. VOA

Oicha is almost entirely surrounded by ADF Ugandan Islamist militia, there are “extremely serious security concerns,” he said. Aid workers, priests and government officials are held hostage in the area, he said.

The doctor’s initial test for Ebola — which causes vomiting, fever and diarrhea — had been negative, but fresh results are awaited, Salama told Reuters.

So far 97 of the doctor’s contacts who may have been exposed to the virus have been identified, and vaccination has begun in the town, he added.

“So for the first time really we have a confirmed case and contacts in an area of very high insecurity. It really was the problem we were anticipating and the problem at the same time that we were dreading,” Salama told a news briefing.

Ebola patient
A health care worker from the World Health Organization, left, gives an Ebola vaccination to a frontline aid worker who will then vaccinate people who might potentially have the virus, in Mbandaka, Congo. VOA

WHO and health experts reached Oicha with an armed escort by MONUSCO troops this week, he said, adding: “We know from that incident now in Oicha we are going to have to operate in some very complex environments due to security and access concerns.”

In a further worrying development, angry youth burned down a health centre in another village, where vaccinations were under way, after learning of a death from Ebola, Salama said.

Also Read: Cholera Infection May be on Edge in Yemen, Says WHO

More than 2,900 people have been vaccinated against Ebola since the outbreak began, he said.

“We are at quite a pivotal moment in this outbreak in terms of the evolution of the outbreak epidemiologically and in terms of the response,” he said. (VOA)

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Asthma Ups The Chance Of Obesity: Study

The increase in the risk of obesity was even greater in people whose asthma began in adulthood.

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Obesity, Asthma
Asthma may up obesity risk. Pixabay

While obesity is already known as a risk factor for developing asthma, a new research led by one of an Indian-origin has showed that people with the airway disease are also more likely to become obese.

The study indicates that those who develop asthma as adults and those who have non-allergic asthma are at the greatest risk of obesity.

The relationship between asthma and obesity is more complex than previously thought and more research is needed to better understand and tackle these two growing health challenges, the researchers said.

Obesity, Asthma
They found that 10.2 per cent of people with asthma at the start of the study had become obese ten years on Flickr Commons

“We already know that obesity can be a trigger for asthma, perhaps via a physiological, metabolic or inflammatory change,” said Subhabrata Moitra, research student at the ISGlobal – the Barcelona Institute for Global Health in Spain.

However, the researchers do not know the reason why having asthma increases the risk of developing obesity or whether different asthma treatments have any effect on this risk.

The team included 8,618 people from 12 countries who were followed for 20 years.

Obesity, Pregnancy
The relationship between asthma and obesity is more complex than previously thought. Pixabay

They found that 10.2 per cent of people with asthma at the start of the study had become obese ten years on. Among people who did not have asthma, 7.7 per cent were obese ten years later.

Also Read: Exposure to Pollen During Pregnancy May up The risk of Asthma in Kids

The increase in the risk of obesity was even greater in people whose asthma began in adulthood. It was also greater in people who had asthma but did not suffer with allergies, the findings showed.

The results were presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress in Paris. (IANS)