Confirmed Ebola cases rise to 13 in DRC's latest outbreak

2018-08-05 07:34
iStock

iStock

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The number of confirmed cases in Democratic Republic of Congo's new outbreak of the Ebola virus has risen to 13, including three deaths, the health ministry said late on Saturday.

The World Health Organisation has warned that this new outbreak of the deadly virus in North Kivu province poses a particular challenge as the region is a "war zone" with several active armed groups and thousands of displaced people.

The nearby city of Beni and heavily travelled borders with Uganda and Rwanda also complicate efforts to contain the disease, which is spread via contact with the bodily fluids of those infected, including the dead.

Congo announced the latest outbreak on Wednesday with four confirmed cases, a week after declaring the end to a previous outbreak in the northwest with 33 deaths.

It is not clear whether the new outbreak, more than 2 500km away, is related.

The swift vaccinations of more than 3 300 people helped in containing the previous outbreak, and WHO has said it hopes to know as early as Tuesday whether the Ebola strain in this new outbreak is the one for which the vaccine can be used.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

The WHO emergencies director has said 3 000 vaccine doses are still in DRC's capital after being positioned there for the earlier outbreak. WHO can mobilise up to 300 000 more doses "at very short notice," Dr Peter Salama said Friday. DRC's health ministry said vaccines would be moved from Kinshasa to Beni as soon as the "cold chain" to keep them at the optimal temperature of minus 70 degrees Celsius is reached.

DRC has dealt with Ebola for decades and this is its tenth outbreak of the virus. Ebola, first identified in the country in 1976, jumps to humans from animals including bats and monkeys. There is no specific treatment, and the virus can be fatal in up to 90% of cases, depending on the strain.

WHO has said the "signal event" in the new outbreak was the death of a 65-year-old woman who had been admitted to the hospital in Mangina village. "She was buried, we believe, in an unsafe burial in terms of Ebola standards and seven deaths have occurred in her immediate family," Salama said.

DRC's health ministry said health officials also were looking at suspected cases in the neighbouring province of Ituri to the north, which also shares a short stretch of border with South Sudan. The ministry said overall more than 875 contacts had been registered as teams try to track down anyone who might have been in touch with those infected.

With the region's armed groups in mind, the ministry said it was working with DRC's defence ministry and the UN peacekeeping mission on security for health workers and the community at large.


Read more on:    drc  |  central africa  |  ebola  |  health

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
 

And the Paws24 and Hill's winners are ...

Find out who the winners of our Paws24 pet pics and Q&a competitions are...

 

Paws

Keep your family and pets safe from rabies
5 scientific benefits of owning a cat
Why we love cats
8 great natural remedies for your pet
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.