We’ll fight new Ebola outbreak in DR Congo

  • We’ll fight new Ebola outbreak in DR Congo

We’ll fight new Ebola outbreak in DR Congo

The Ministry of Health on Thursday assured the country that the government was "well prepared and ready to avert any possible outbreak of the epidemic". Travel through the village of Mangina, where the majority of the cases are from, has been barred, according to The Washington Post. There is no evidence suggesting a link between the latest cases and an outbreak in northwestern Congo that killed 33 and was declared over last week.

Worldwide experts set up a laboratory on Thursday in the city of Beni, 30 km from where the outbreak was declared, World Health Organization and Congolese officials said.

The 20 died in and around Mangina, a densely populated town in North Kivu province about 30 km southwest of the city of Beni and 100 km from the Ugandan border.

Out of the six surviving patients four tested positive for Ebola, the ministry said, adding that efforts were underway to identify the strain of the virus. "It is, on the other hand, worrying that this area is a conflict zone.It is an area with lots of displacement, so the access can be hampered in that way".

The Ministry of Health noted that therapeutic treatments are still in country from the last outbreak, but the species of this Ebola virus has yet to be determined.

"This new cluster is occurring in an environment which is very different from where we were operating in the northwest", said Peter Salama, MD, WHO Deputy Director-General, Emergency Preparedness and Response.

One of the world's most feared diseases, Ebola is a virus-caused haemorrhagic fever that in extreme cases causes fatal bleeding from internal organs, the mouth, eyes or ears. A highly infective virus, it can be spread via contact with animals or the bodily fluids of the infected - including the dead.

In the worst outbreak of Ebola, the disease struck the West African states of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in 2013-2015, killing more than 11,300 people.

Jose Barahona, Oxfam country director for the DRC, said the outbreak presented a serious risk to communities in Beni, where thousands of people are already facing hardship.