Democratic Republic of the Congo tests positive for Ebola outbreak

Tuesday August 7 2018     Ebola Health ministry issues alert

Tuesday August 7 2018 Ebola Health ministry issues alert

Health authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo yesterday (Monday) said that they would begin Ebola vaccinations on Wednesday in the east of the country, where a new outbreak of the virus is believed to have killed 33 people. The strategy is the same that was used to contain the previous outbreak in Congo's Equateur province in which more than 3,300 people were vaccinated.

The North Kivu Provincial Health Division notified the government of Congo that a couple of cases of haemorrhagic fevers were reported. Although the massive refugee population makes identification, isolation, and treatment more hard, the country's health ministry announced that 879 people who have had contact with Ebola patients have so far been identified.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said the "deterioration of the security situation" in affected area was expected to hinder the response to the outbreak.

"We know there have been three cases in Beni hospital that are positive and another six in Mangina - where the epidemic is reported to have started close to Ituri province", according to the director general in the fight against the disease, Dr. Ndjoloko Tambwe Bathé.

The current outbreak is in the North Kivu region, on the opposite side of DRC from the last outbreak.

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.

Health workers will need to ensure that the vaccines remain refrigerated throughout the supply chain: a tall order in under-developed regions.

"It is from where they get this Ebola and we have talked to the people in these districts to stop eating bats and monkeys".

There is no specific treatment, and the virus can be fatal in up to 90 percent of cases, depending on the strain.

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