Congo says new confirmed Ebola case; outbreak marks 1 month

Leslie Hanson
June 10, 2018

The ministry also reported five new suspected cases on Thursday, including two in Mbandaka, a city of 1.5 million people.

WFP has contributed to the aid effort since the Ebola crisis was declared a month ago, playing an active role in overall response coordination led by the DRC's Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation.

World Health Organization said four of the five approved drugs are now in the country, which are Zmapp, GS-5734, REGN monoclonal antibody combination, and mAb114, under the framework of compassionate use and expanded access.

"There's been very strong progress in the outbreak response, particularly in relation to two of the initial three sites: Mbandaka and Bikoro", he said. This is the first time such treatments are available in the midst of an Ebola outbreak.

It is the capital of Equateur province, where the small town of Bikoro also is located. The newest confirmed case is in rural Iboko and is linked to a probable Ebola patient who died on 20 May, the ministry said. "We've reached the majority of contacts - more than 98% - with vaccination. and we believe these contacts are now protected against Ebola", he said.

"Contact tracing has been a huge challenge in this hard-to-reach area", Salama said, describing Iboko as a remote community in a heavily forested part of the DRC.


The disease, which is transmitted by direct contact with the blood and body fluids of infected people or animals, causes severe bleeding and can have a mortality rate of 90%.

On the front lines of the outbreak, health officials use a tool called contact tracing to break the chain of transmission of the Ebola virus. It's a "major boots on the ground" effort that takes several hours to trace each and every contact, he said.

"I am confident that this Ebola outbreak will soon be contained", said Claude Jibidar, WFP's DRC Country Director.

Clinicians working in the treatment centres will make decisions on which drug to use as deemed helpful for their patients, and appropriate for the setting.

"We're cautiously optimistic but there's a lot of very tough work to do in phase two before we say that we're on the top of this outbreak and we've learned the hard way in the past never to underestimate Ebola", Mr Salama said.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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