January 19, 2019

Another Ebola outbreak hits DRC days after previous outbreak declared over

05 August 2018, 09:45 | Rodolfo Wallace

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Ebola hits Congo days after last outbreak ended

The Director-General of WHO, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, stated this as the Government of DRC announced on Wednesday that preliminary laboratory results indicated a new cluster of cases of the deadly virus in North Kivu Province.

Authorities have not yet revealed how many cases have been detected.

Four cases of the disease were positively confirmed in the country's North Kivu province and more are anticipated, Dr. Oly Ilunga Kalenga, the country's health minister, said. Another 20 people died from unidentified haemorrhagic fevers in the area, mostly in the second half of July.

An worldwide delegation has arrived in the town of Beni in Democratic Republic of Congo, 30 km (18 miles) from where an Ebola outbreak was declared, the World Health Organization said on Thursday.

A team of 12 experts from the health ministry will arrive in the zone on Thursday to set up a mobile lab, the ministry said. "It's sad", says Yap Boum, a microbiologist based in Yaoundé who works with Doctors Without Borders, a nongovernmental organization that helped run an Ebola vaccine campaign against the previous outbreak.

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The Ministry of Health of the Democratic of the Congo (DRC) informed WHO that four out of six samples tested positive for Ebola virus at the Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale (INRB) in Kinshasa. Travel through the village of Mangina, where the majority of the cases are from, has been barred, according to The Washington Post. Ebola killed 33 people in Mbandaka, a city on the Congo River.

The Ministry of Health noted that therapeutic treatments are still in country from the last outbreak, but the species of this Ebola virus has yet to be determined.

Once present in humans, it causes haemorrhagic fever, vomiting and diarrhea and is spread through direct contact with body fluids.

The region is near the heavily trafficked border with Uganda and Rwanda and two of Africa's best-known wildlife parks, Virunga and Rwenzori.

An outbreak concentrated in the West African countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea killed at least 11,300 people between 2013 and 2016. The DRC said 26 people have reported illnesses.

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