Congo confirms 4 Ebola cases week after outbreak ends

Ben Davidson
August 5, 2018

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 did not immediately say how many cases had been detected.

The WHO emergencies director said 3,000 vaccine doses were still in Congo's capital after being positioned there for the earlier outbreak. Travel into and out of the village has been blocked.

Officials said it was not yet clear whether the two Congo outbreaks separated by more than 2,500 kilometers (1,553 miles) are linked.

Officials have said they now feel better prepared for Ebola outbreaks, in sharp contrast to the 2014 epidemic of the virus, which killed more than 11,000 people, mostly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The health ministry said it has put in place security to protect a team of health experts arriving on Thursday.

This is the DRC's 10th outbreak of Ebola since 1976, when the virus was discovered near the eponymous river in the north.

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The North Kivu health division notified the health ministry on Saturday of 26 cases of haemorrhagic fever, including 20 deaths in North Kivu province, the ministry said.

Ebola is considered endemic to Congo because of its equatorial forest ecosystem.

The government informed World Health Organization that four out of six samples tested positive for Ebola virus at the Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale (INRB) in Kinshasa but that further testing was ongoing.

There is no specific treatment for Ebola, and the virus can be fatal in up to 90 percent of cases, depending on the strain. "It is, on the other hand, worrying that this area is a conflict zone.It is an area with lots of displacement, so the access can be hampered in that way".

Ebola, believed to be spread over long distances by bats, causes hemorrhagic fever, vomiting and diarrhea and is spread through direct contact with body fluids.

Vianney said this was the first time Ebola had been declared in the area and "our people don't know how to protect themselves".

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