Concerns Over Fresh Outbreak Of Ebola In D.R. Congo

Adjust Comment Print

UNICEF Spokesperson Christophe Boulierac said the local office had dispatched five specialists from the Ebola response team and are expected to dispatch more.

According to a senior official of the WHO, Peter Salama, the Ebola strain might be the Zaire, Sudan or Bundibugyo strain.

The organization's emergency response chief, Peter Salama, expressed concern about the regional risks this outbreak could pose - given the pattern of its spread and its closeness to global frontiers.

The report of the outbreak, the tenth to hit DRC since it was discovered in 1976, came barely a week after Congo had declared the end to an epidemic in its northwest region.

20 people have died in the Democratic Republic of Congo after showing symptoms of haemorrhagic fever. The case fatality rates in the recent outbreaks of Ebola viruses have varied between 20% and 90%.

WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic says the DRC ministry of Health informed WHO Wednesday that four of six samples taken in North Kivu tested positive for Ebola virus.

"It would appear that the risk, as we can surmise for DRC, is high".

A World Health Organization (WHO) worker prepares to administer a vaccination during the launch of a campaign aimed at beating an outbreak of Ebola in the port city of Mbandaka, Democratic Republic of Congo May 21, 2018.

These symptoms may be followed by diarrhoea, vomiting, troubles of the kidney and liver.

The response to this was considered a success despite the deaths, as the use of a vaccine made by Merck helped contain the virus.

Salama said the "signal event" in this new outbreak was the death of a 65-year-old woman who had been admitted to the hospital in Mangina.

The kind of Ebola in the latest outbreak has been confirmed as the Zaire strain that the Merck vaccine protects against.

About 1,000 civilians have been killed by armed groups and government soldiers around Beni since 2014, and the wider region of North Kivu holds over one million displaced people.

"Ebola is highly infectious so we have put in place measures", Uganda's Junior Health Minister Sarah Opendi told Reuters. The province shares borders with Rwanda and Uganda, with a lot of cross border movement due to brisk trade.