ARUSHA, TANZANIA-- Tanzania has joined the other members of the East African Community (EAC) in taking precautions against Ebola, following the latest outbreak of the highly contagious disease which has no cure in 5the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which shares a border with five of the six EAC member countries.

Already, sensors and medical personnel to man them have been put into operation at the Kilimanjaro International Airport, according to the Acting Managing Director of Kilimanjaro Airports Development Company (KADCO), Christopher Mukoma.

The EAC Secretariat in Arusha is also following suit. All EAC member states maintain close trade relations with high border traffic and a statement from the EAC Headquarters here, reveals that there are also direct flights between the DRC and individual EAC nations.

These factors have caused the EAC to be on high alert with its member States putting safety measures in place, ranging from screening people arriving from the DRC at the border posts for signs of the disease to alerting health personnel, enhancing diagnostic capacities at major research centres, and informing citizens of the risk and of preventive measures.

To date, no case of Ebola has been detected in the EAC.

On May 8, 2018, the DRC Ministry of Health declared an outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the Bikoro Health Zone of Equateur Province in the western part of the country. By 15 May, 2018, a total of 44 EVD cases (three confirmed) had been reported, with 19 deaths, including three healthcare workers.

As of May 16, 393 contacts had been identified and were being followed. A new confirmed case in the 1.2 million population city of Mbandaka now increases the risk of the disease spreading.

The World Health Organization (WHO), Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), the International Committee of the Red Cross and other international organizations are on-site and supporting the DRC in the fight against the outbreak, the ninth time one has occurred in that country.