New Ebola outbreak confirmed in Democratic Republic of Congo

Leslie Hanson
August 2, 2018

One week after celebrating the defeat of an Ebola outbreak in Équateur province, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has four new confirmed cases of the disease 2500 kilometers across the country in North Kivu province. The confirmation of Ebola return to the DRC was earlier reported by Governor Julien Paluku of the North Kivu province. "Although we did not expect to face a 10th epidemic so early, the detection of the virus is an indicator of the proper functioning of the surveillance system", a DRC Ministry of Health communique said.

Six samples taken from hospitalised patients arrived in Kinshasa on Tuesday for analysis by the National Institute of Biomedical Research (INRB), he said.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), said in a tweet on Wednesday that health officials would continue to fight the "constant threat" of Ebola in the DRC.

Twenty people have already died from haemorrhagic fevers in and around Mangina, a densely populated town about 30 kilometres southwest of the city of Beni and 100km from the Ugandan border, the ministry said in its statement, without saying when the deaths occurred.

Cases emerged in the northwestern city of Mbandaka, a city and transport hub on the Congo River with a population of more than a million.


Health officials said a quick worldwide response and the vaccination of more than 3,300 people were decisive factors in containing the virus.

The latest outbreak is the 10th in the DRC since 1976, when it was discovered in the north of the country, then called Zaire, and named after a river nearby.

Ebola, believed to be spread over long distances by bats, causes hemorrhagic fever, vomiting and diarrhea and is spread through direct contact with body fluids.

An outbreak from 2014 to 2016 killed over 11,000 people in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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