Medicine

Congo confirms Ebola cases, more suspected

Congo confirms Ebola cases, more suspected

It is the ninth such outbreak in the country whose eastern Ebola river gave the virus its name.

The Ministry of Health of Democratic of the Congo (DRC) informed WHO that two out of five samples collected from five patients tested positive for EVD at the Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale (INRB) in Kinshasa.

The WHO released $1 million from its contingency fund to try and control the outbreak, using lessons it learned in stamping out another bout of Ebola in Congo in 2017.

Two cases of Ebola virus infection were confirmed in a rural section of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the African nation where the illness first emerged, the Associated Press reported.

The latest cases come less than a year after the Congo's last confirmed Ebola outbreak in May 2017, during which eight people were infected, four of whom died.

"Our top priority is to get to Bikoro to work alongside the government " the WHO's Peter Salama said in a statement. The average EVD case fatality rate is around 50%.

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Matshidiso Moeti, the Regional Director for Africa at World Health Organization, underlined the importance of strong coordination from the outset.

The worldwide health organisation says it has released $1m (£738,000) from an emergency fund and has deployed more than 50 experts to work with officials in the DR Congo. "WHO will work carefully with well being authorities and companions to help the nationwide response".

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. The virus is transmitted to individuals from wild animals and spreads within the human inhabitants by means of human-to-human transmission.

In 2014, an Ebola outbreak in the DR Congo killed more than 40 people.

Many health facilities in the region rely on global assistance for both services and supplies.

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 worldwide partners. The virus is highly contagious and can cause organ failure as well as internal and external bleeding.


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