Aug 22, 2018: Air Serv has departed from Entebbe to Bunia, Democratic Republic of the Congo with two more flights, providing support for the recent Ebola outbreak.

Bunia is located northeast of Mangina, initial site of the outbreak. Two Cessna Caravans departed the Air Serv hangar in Ugan-da on August 18, carrying two tonnes worth of medical supplies and cargo. The planes and crew spent approximately two hours offloading the critically needed cargo before refueling and returning to Entebbe.

The most recent outbreak of Ebola in eastern DRC is attributed to one of the most fatal strains of the virus, and the death toll has risen to 49. Health officials have disclosed that the outbreak has now spread from the province of North Kivu to neighbouring Ituri. 90 cases have been reported, 10 of which are health care providers, which is particularly concerning.

Field teams working to contain the outbreak have also identified well over 2,000 possibly exposed contacts. As incubation can last up to 21 days, health workers are advising those potentially infected that symptoms may not show for three weeks. However, the extreme insecurity of the region has made it exceptionally difficult to trace the path of the virus.

According to spokesman for the World Health Organization in Geneva, Tarik Jasarevic, said, “We are at a critical moment where we are not yet sure we have all the chains of transmission identified.”

Air Serv is expected to continue performing response flights, transporting critically needed medicine, protective gear, and personnel. As the virus continues to spread, the need for resources grows substantially.

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