DRC: New Ebola deaths confirmed, dozens believed infected

Maricruz Casares
Agosto 9, 2018

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 swift vaccinations of more than 3,300 people helped in containing the previous outbreak in the northwest Equateur province.

These nine confirmed cases are in addition to the four that tested positive on the six samples tested on July 31.

As with the outbreak in western Congo, health officials plan to deploy a vaccine manufactured by Merck that they have credited with helping disrupt the spread of the virus after it reached a river port city with transport links to the capital Kinshasa.

According to a report from the Ministry of Health in addition to the deceased, three patients with the disease were confirmed, which can cause up to 90 percent of lethality.

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World Health Organization released $2m from its contingency fund for emergencies to help fund DRC's response to the newest outbreak. But as of then, the ministry said there were 43 reported cases and 33 deaths. Using hi tech protective gear and technology, life-threatening pathogens like the Ebola virus can be safely diagnosed and researched at centers like these. More than one million displaced people are now residing in the affected region, which shares borders with Rwanda and Uganda.

The Ministry of Health has asked health workers to enhance their surveillance following a fresh Ebola outbreak in neigbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

A further five probable cases have been noted in Ituri Province - which also borders Uganda and shares a crossing with South Sudan.

"Since we are coming out of another Ebola outbreak, we have kept staff and equipment in place", said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa in a WHO statement: "This allows us to have a head start in response to this cluster".

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