Monday, 23 July, 2018

Congo health ministry confirms 2 cases of Ebola

DRC confirms two cases of Ebola in north-western town Shock Ebola outbreak in Congo - 10 new cases suspected and two confirmed
Carol Daniels | 09 May, 2018, 09:18

Congo's health ministry on Tuesday, May 8, described the fresh outbreak as a "public health emergency with global impact".

Congo has had more recorded outbreaks of the disease than any other country.

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This is DRC's ninth Ebola outbreak since the virus was discovered.

According to the health ministry of Congo, five samples were sent to the Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale (INRB) in Kinshasa. Two samples showed a positive result for Ebola.

The UN health agency said it would also adopt prompt testing, immediate notification of results, and a fast overall response by local and national authorities together with global partners.

Congo's ministry of health said in a statement on Tuesday that two cases of the virus have been confirmed by laboratory tests following 21 patients displaying signs of hemorrhagic fever in Ikoko Impenge, near the town of Bikoro, in the central African nation.

A multidisciplinary team of experts from World Health Organization, Médecins Sans Frontières and the Government has already been deployed to Bikoro to coordinate and strengthen the response, the organisation said.

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At least 17 people have died from an Ebola outbreak in a northwestern area of Democratic Republic of Congo.

The last outbreak in Congo was in 2017 May and it killed four out of eight individuals in the Bas-Uele province, northeast Congo.

WHO's deputy director-general for emergency preparedness and response Peter Salama said: "Our top priority is to get to Bikoro to work alongside the government".

It often spreads to humans via infected bushmeat.

Amy Pope, a senior Obama administration counterterrorism official who worked on that outbreak, told The Hill last week that Trump's tweets contributed to the escalating national fear of the deadly virus.

The situation on the ground in Bikoro, situated along Lake Tumba in Equateur Province is particularly challenging, given its distance from the capital and the limited availability of health services, WHO said.

WHO and local officials were able to quickly control last year's outbreak in an isolated part of the country, though the 2013-2016 swept through densely populated areas, devastating Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone and sparking a US debate about travel bans and whether to quarantine returning health workers.

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