Ebola Out of Control in Congo; Migrants Seek Entry to USA Via Mexico

Image: CNN

CNN – In a “worst-case scenario,” the current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo may take up to two years to end, a World Health Organization official said Thursday.

The outbreak, which began on August 1, is “not under control,” Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO Health Emergencies Programme, said during a press briefing. “We may end up dealing with this outbreak for a long time.”

As of Wednesday, the cumulative number of probable cases of the viral disease — which causes fever, severe headache and in some cases hemorrhaging — is 2,025, according to Congo’s Ministry of Health.

Of the 1,931 confirmed Ebola patients, 1,357 have died while 552 have made a full recovery. On average, Ebola kills about half of those infected, yet the current outbreak has caused fatalities in 70% of those infected.

Ryan said that numbers have stabilized and even fallen in the last two weeks, yet he also said there’s still “substantial transmission” in some health zones.

While there is a smaller geographic footprint, the spread of disease is rampant within affected zones, he added.

Still, he is hopeful: “If we make the right improvements, and we put the right effort into this, and we put the resources into this, and the funding into this, and the people into this,” there is the possibility the outbreak ends in a much shorter time, Ryan said. “At this point, I think the outcome is effort related.”

North Kivu and neighboring Ituri province remain the epicenter of the outbreak. The two provinces are among the most populated in the nation and border Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan.

Not all Ebola cases detected by health workers

Ryan said “we’re probably detecting in excess of 75% of cases — we may be missing up to a quarter of cases.”

A week ago, 20,000 patient contacts required follow-up; On Wednesday, that number dropped to 15,000, he said … Read more. 

‘Groups of family units from around the world are traveling thousands of miles just to enter the United States illegally to exploit our immigration laws…’

Border agents have arrested more than 500 people from the African continent in the Del Rio Sector since May 30, according to the agency.

(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested dozens on Wednesday as refugees from African countries amassed at the U.S.–Mexico border seeking asylum.

They typically travel in groups as family units from the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Angola, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

“The introduction of this new population places additional burdens on processing stations, to include language and cultural differences,” said Raul L. Ortiz, Del Rio Sector chief patrol agent, in a statement.

“Our agents continue to meet each new challenge as the ongoing humanitarian crisis evolves,” Ortiz said.

Mexico’s lax immigration rules makes it possible for migrants around the world to try and gain access to the U.S.

In Nuevo Laredo—across the border from Laredo, Texas—more than 1,500 Central and West African refugees have gathered at the southern border, trying to seek asylum in the U.S., according to USA Today.

“They don’t speak the language, they don’t have money, they’re not very well-received in Mexico,” said Mike Smith, a Methodist pastor who runs a migrant shelter in Laredo.

Last Saturday, the CBP said it picked up a group of 37 African immigrants attempting illegal crossings into Texas. The week before, agents said they picked up a group of 116 African migrants crossing the river into the Del Rio sector.

Del Rio Sector’s apprehensions of non-Mexican immigrants has increased by nearly 500 percent this year, according to CBP.

“We are continuing to see a rise in apprehensions of immigrants from countries not normally encountered in our area,” Ortiz said in a statement.

“Groups of family units from around the world are traveling thousands of miles just to enter the United States illegally to exploit our immigration laws,” he said. Source.