Published: Wed, May 09, 2018
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

Ebola outbreak declared in Democratic Republic of Congo

Ebola outbreak declared in Democratic Republic of Congo

This is the ninth outbreak of the disease in the country since 1976, according to WHO.

A source in the central African country's ministry of health said more details would be provided in a formal announcement later today.

World Health Organization has also assigned dedicated staff and resources across the agency to tackling the outbreak, and released some one million dollars from its emergency contingency fund to support efforts over the next three months, and stop the disease spreading.

A fresh outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) has been confirmed in Bikoro in Equateur Province of Democratic Republic of Congo.

Bikoro is situated in Equateur Province on the shores of Lake Tumba in the north-western part of the country near the Republic of the Congo.

The government also chose to deploy on Wednesday a team of experts from the central level from Kinshasa to Bikoro with a set of appropriate equipment to oversee the investigations and the organization of the response on field.

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The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) today declared a new Ebola virus outbreak in a northwestern province, with two confirmed cases so far, coming nearly a year since the country's last outbreak began in a different remote location. Health facilities in Bikoro have very limited functionality, and rely on worldwide organizations to provide supplies that frequently stock out.

The deadly virus was first discovered in the DRC in the 1970s. Ebola is fatal in about 50 per cent of cases. "Working with partners and responding early and in a coordinated way will be vital to containing this deadly disease", he said.

Recall that in the summer of 2017, the outbreak of Ebola in DR Congo ceased. The virus can be spread from human to human or can be transmitted to people from animals, according to WHO. "We will gather more samples, conduct contact tracing, engage the communities with messages on prevention and control, and put in place methods for improving data collection and sharing". "WHO will work carefully with well being authorities and companions to help the nationwide response".

The head of the national institute for biological research, Jean Jack Muyembe, said the cases had been reported in the northwestern town of Bikoro.

Further downstream the river flows past Democratic Republic of Congo's capital Kinshasa and Brazzaville, capital of neighbouring Congo Republic - two cities with a combined population of over 12 million people.

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