Four cases of Ebola confirmed in northeast Congo - health ministry
Aug 05 2018
The North Kivu health division notified the DRC Ministry of Health on 28 July that there were 26 cases of hemorrhagic fever in the area, with 20 deaths. These results still require full confirmatory testing in the capital, Kinshasa.
"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.
"These cases are also a reminder - an unnecessary reminder - of the high vulnerability of communities in DRC". "Beni has been deeply unstable for the past few years due to armed conflict and Ebola poses a serious risk to communities already on the edge, and threatens our ability to help them", Jose Barahona, the charity organization Oxfam's country director for DRC, tells The Guardian.
Congo declared the outbreak on Wednesday, just days after another that killed 33 people in the northwest was declared over. This could include redeploying personnel involved in the Ebola response in Equateur Province, as well as the deployment of new experts if necessary. Travel through the village of Mangina, where the majority of the cases are from, has been barred, according toThe Washington Post.
Worldwide experts set up a laboratory today in Beni, WHO and Congolese officials said.
The type of Ebola in the latest outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo is the Zaire strain which has been successfully vaccinated against in past flare-ups, the health ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
This outbreak is more than 1,500 miles from the earlier one on the opposite side of the country.
Four of six samples later tested positive for the haemorrhagic virus. Fortunately, equipment and responders to the earlier outbreak are still in DRC. "The major barrier will be safely accessing the affected population".
Authorities have not yet revealed how many cases have been detected.
Ebola, a highly infectious disease that causes a fever, often leads to massive internal bleeding and fatalities.
Vianney said this was the first time Ebola had been declared in the area and "our people don't know how to protect themselves".