Ebola Kills Four More People In DR Congo

Ebola medic

Just a week after being declared Ebola-free, the Democratic Republic of Congo said yesterday that a new outbreak of the deadly virus has killed at least 20 people.

Health officials announced the outbreak Wednesday, about a week after the government of Congo declared another Ebola outbreak in Equateur province had been contained.

"The objective of this communication is therefore to request you to enhance your surveillance systems and preparedness and have a high index of suspicion for Ebola, urgently report any alerts to Public Health Emergency Operation Centre on Toll free phone line 0800203033 and/ or Ministry of Health on 0800100066", Dr. Mwebesa noted. There were three new cases confirmed and four new deaths, as of Monday, it said.

"Current response focus includes contact tracing, infection prevention and control, particularly as regards health facilities; isolation and care of patients (and) outreach to communities", reads the WHO statement.

A World Health Organization worker administers 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, on 21 May 2018.

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But the new outbreak in the East of the DRC is on track to dwarf the one that sparked worldwide panic in earlier this summer in the North West.

He said health experts in Beni are setting up cold chains, a series of measures to keep the vaccines below freezing as they travel through a country without reliable power supplies and hot temperatures.

The ministry noted 30 probable Ebola cases in the new outbreak and said another 33 suspected cases were under investigation, with laboratory testing underway.

The central African country has dealt with Ebola for decades and this is its tenth outbreak of the virus. It will be even harder to reach the target population this time, because this outbreak took place in a region where active civil conflicts have displaced over 1 million civilians.

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