Today: Sunday, 12 July 2020 year

New Ebola outbreak detected in northwest DR Congo

New Ebola outbreak detected in northwest DR Congo

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) fights against the deadly virus, Ebola. As the healthy authorities have reported, a new outbreak of this lethal disease is occurring in the Wangata health zone, WAM reports.

The announcement of the DRC’s government comes as a long, difficult and complex Ebola outbreak in the eastern part of DRC is in its final phase. One of the most fragile epidemiological situations registered in Mbandaka, in Équateur province, while DRC also battles coronavirus and the largest ever measles outbreak.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is continuing to monitor and respond to many other health emergencies, said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.

Commenting on the situation, the Ministry of Health reported six Ebola cases have so far been detected in Wangata. Four have died and two are alive and under care. Three of these six cases have been confirmed with laboratory testing. It is likely more people will be identified with the disease as surveillance activities increase.

«This is a reminder that COVID-19 is not the only health threat people face,» WHO boss said and added that this is the DR the Congo’s 11th outbreak of Ebola since the virus was first discovered in the country in 1976.

DRC’s Mbandaka remains an epicentre of Ebola outbreak

The city of Mbandaka and its surrounding area were the site of Democratic Republic of the Congo’s 9th Ebola outbreak, which took place from May to July 2018.

«It’s happening at a challenging time, but WHO has worked over the last two years with health authorities, Africa CDC and other partners to strengthen national capacity to respond to outbreaks,» said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

In addition, WHO plans to send a medical team to support scaling up the response. Given the proximity of this new outbreak to busy transport routes and vulnerable neighbouring African nations WHO must act quickly.

WHO is already on the ground in Mbandaka supporting the response to this outbreak, as part of capacity built during the 2018 outbreak. A further 25 people are expected to arrive in Mbandaka tomorrow. WHO is also working to ensure that essential health services are provided to communities despite these emergency events.

On 14 May 2020, the DRC Ministry of Health began the 42-day countdown to the declaration of the end of 11th Ebola outbreak.

In fact, new outbreaks of Ebola are expected in the Democratic Republic of the Congo given the existence of the virus in an animal reservoir in many parts of the country.