Ebola kills nine in DR Congo

Leslie Hanson
August 11, 2018

Health officials have warned that containing the outbreak is complicated by the presence of multiple armed groups in the northeast region that borders Uganda and Rwanda.

Nine confirmed Ebola victims have died since the virus resurfaced in the Democratic Republic of Congo this month, the country's health ministry said Tuesday.

A Congolese health worker checks the temperature of a colleague before the launch of vaccination campaign against the deadly Ebola virus near Mangina village, near the town of Beni in North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, August 8, 2018.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) today confirmed the vaccination process of health workers had begun, after the outbreak was first reported on Saturday.

The ministry noted 30 probable Ebola cases in the new outbreak and said another 33 suspected cases were under investigation, with laboratory testing underway.

Some 36 people have died from hemorrhagic fever amid the outbreak, but officials said many can not be confirmed as Ebola deaths at this point.

World Health Organization had said that 3 000 doses of the vaccine are still in Congo's capital, and that it can access up to 300 000 more on short notice.

Experts believe an experimental vaccine, known as rVSV-ZEBOV, made a difference in containing the earlier outbreak and vaccinations are under way in North Kivu, WHO said.

"Twelve teams of vaccinators will be deployed in different affected areas", the ministry said, adding that teams had arrived in Beni.

The first people to be vaccinated on Wednesday included the Beni's region chief doctor and medical staff. "When I see the doctors preparing the funerals for those who have died from Ebola, without their family, it gives me goose bumps".

Ebola, first identified in the country in 1976, jumps to humans from animals including bats and monkeys. It can be spread through contact of bodily fluids of someone infected, living or dead.

"The bad news is that this strain of Ebola carries with it the highest case-fatality-rate of any of the strains of Ebola, anywhere above 50% and higher, according to previous outbreaks", he said.

Peter Salama, WHO deputy director for emergency preparedness and response, gave the results of genetic sequencing in a tweet saying that analysis showed it was a new outbreak in North Kivu province.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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