Response to Congo's new Ebola outbreak 'highly complex'

Leslie Hanson
August 4, 2018

Congo on July 24 declared the end of an Ebola outbreak that began in May in northwest Equateur province.

Tedros said: "Ebola is a constant threat in the DRC; what adds to our confidence in the country's ability to respond is the transparency they have displayed once again".

It said in a statement late Wednesday that it still had staff and equipment in place in DR Congo after dealing with the May-July outbreak, and this would give it a "head start".

"Although we did not expect to face a tenth epidemic so early, the detection of the virus is an indicator of the proper functioning of the surveillance system", said the country's health minister, Oly Ilunga Kalenga, in a statement.

"We knew a #10 Ebola outbreak was inevitable because of the presence of the virus in the Equitoreal Forest but we did not know it woudl happen so quickly", a tweet from Ilunga said. The DRC said 26 people have reported illnesses. The health ministry is investigating reports of viral hemorrhagic fever.

"This outbreak comes at a time when the country is already unstable, with millions of people caught up in humanitarian crises as a result of ongoing conflicts", said Barahona.

Health officials flew six blood samples to the capital of Kinshasa, where four tested positive for the Ebola virus. Further testing is ongoing.

The swift vaccinations of more than 3,300 people helped in containing the previous outbreak, which saw 33 deaths.

"This new cluster is occurring in an environment, which is very different from where we were operating in the north-west, " said Dr Peter Salama, Deputy Director-General of the Emergency Preparedness and Response team at WHO.

The new cases are in Mangina in the eastern Mabalako health zone, about 30 kilometers (18 miles) west of Beni, a city of more than 230,000 people. "It is, on the other hand, worrying that this area is a conflict zone.It is an area with lots of displacement, so the access can be hampered in that way".

Jasarevic says World Health Organization will work with these neighboring countries to try to prevent the virus from crossing over.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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