Friday, 17 August, 2018

Four new Ebola cases hit DR Congo's North Kivu province

Congo confirms 4 Ebola cases week after outbreak ends Ebola kills 20 in Congo days after last outbreak ended | TheHill
Gustavo Carr | 05 August, 2018, 00:05

It may be impossible to use a vaccine to tackle Democratic Republic of Congo's new Ebola outbreak that has caused four confirmed cases, including two health workers, a senior World Health Organisation (WHO) official said on Thursday.

According to a statement from the ministry of health, of 26 people with hemorrhagic illness signs, 20 people have died in an area 100 kilometers from the border with Uganda. There is no evidence suggesting a link between the latest cases and an outbreak in northwestern Congo that killed 33 and was declared over last week. "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.

Travel into and out of the Mangina has been blocked.

This outbreak is more than 1,500 miles from the earlier one on the opposite side of the country.

Health officials flew six blood samples to the capital of Kinshasa, where four tested positive for the Ebola virus.

"Although we did not expect to face a tenth epidemic so early, the detection of the virus is an indicator of the proper functioning of the surveillance system", Health Minister Oly Ilunga said.

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Congolese and global health officials were credited with responding rapidly to the last outbreak, including by deploying an experimental vaccine manufactured by Merck.

"We knew a #10 Ebola outbreak was inevitable because of the presence of the virus in the Equitoreal Forest but we did not know it woudl happen so quickly", a tweet from Ilunga said.

Experts from the health ministry will arrive in the region on Thursday to coordinate a response to the virus, the ministry said.

The outbreak has occurred in the Beni region of North Kivu - the stronghold of a notorious Ugandan-linked Islamist militia called the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).

Ebola is a virus-caused haemorrhagic fever that in extreme cases causes fatal bleeding from internal organs, the mouth, eyes or ears. "The major barrier will be safely accessing the affected population".