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WHO confirms fresh outbreak of Ebola in Congo DRC

Kits for health workers. Photo: WHO

Admin l Saturday, April 23, 2022

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CONGO, DRC – Health authorities at the Democratic Republic of Congo  have declared a new outbreak of Ebola after one case was confirmed in Mbandaka, a city in the north-western Equateur Province.

According to WHO, the infected patient was a 31-year-old man who began experiencing symptoms on 5 April and after more than a week of care at home, sought treatment at a local health facility.

However, on 21 April, he was admitted to an Ebola treatment centre for intensive care but died later that day. After his death workers immediately submitted samples to test for Ebola virus disease, which came out positive,  WHO explained.

So far, just one case has been confirmed and investigations to determine the source of the outbreak are ongoing.

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Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa said “Time is not on our side. The disease has had a two-week head start and we are now playing catch-up. The positive news is that health authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have more experience than anyone else in the world at controlling Ebola outbreaks quickly”, he added.

Congo DRC has recovered 14 outbreak of  Ebola  since 1976. The new outbreak is the sixth one since 2018 – the most frequent occurrence in the country’s Ebola history, according to the UN health agency.

The WHO representatives said  vaccines will be sent to Mbandaka and administered through ‘ring vaccination strategy—where contacts and contacts of contacts are vaccinated to curb the spread of the virus and protect lives”, WHO highlighted.

“Many people in Mbandaka are already vaccinated against Ebola, which should help reduce the impact of the disease,” added Dr. Moeti. “All those who were vaccinated during the 2020 outbreak will be revaccinated.”

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