Deadly Ebola Outbreak Confirmed in Eastern DRC

Aug 05, 2018, 09:43
Deadly Ebola Outbreak Confirmed in Eastern DRC

"The Government-Partner delegation is holding its first meeting to organise the response", North Kivu governor Julien Paluku tweeted.

Authorities have not yet revealed how many cases have been detected. There is no evidence yet suggesting the two outbreaks in the Congo are linked.

The current outbreak is centered in Mangina, a village about 30 kilometers from the city of Béni, which is close to the famed Virunga National Park and the border of Uganda.

World Health Organization says this new outbreak in North Kivu province is 2,500 kilometers away from Equateur Province, the site of the previous outbreak, and there is no link between the two.

An worldwide delegation has arrived in the town of Beni in Democratic Republic of Congo, 30 km (18 miles) from where an Ebola outbreak was declared, the World Health Organisation and Congolese officials said on Thursday.

The report of the outbreak, the tenth to hit DRC since it was discovered in 1976, came barely a week after Congo had declared the end to an epidemic in its northwest region.

Researchers have not yet identified the particular strain of ebola causing the new outbreak.

The North Kivu health division notified the ministry on Saturday of 26 cases of hemorrhagic fever, including 20 deaths in North Kivu province. Six samples from these patients were tested, and four tested positive for Ebola, the ministry said.

"This new cluster is occurring in an environment, which is very different from where we were operating in the north-west, " said Dr Peter Salama, Deputy Director-General of the Emergency Preparedness and Response team at WHO. "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". Beni has been the site of intense fighting in recent decades, and between 2014 and 2016, more than 800 people were killed in the area, many of them by machete. "This outbreak comes at a time when the country is already unstable, with millions of people caught up in humanitarian crises as a result of ongoing conflicts".

Meanwhile, Uganda has set up screening at the land border it shares with Congo and at its Entebbe global airport.

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