ibusinesslines.com October 22, 2018

World Health Organisation declares new ebola emergency in Democratic Republic of Congo

05 August 2018, 12:05 | Melissa Porter

World Health Organisation declares new ebola emergency in Democratic Republic of Congo

A health worker was sprayed with chlorine after visiting the isolation ward at Bikoro hospital in May

Worldwide efforts to contain a fresh outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo could be thwarted by chronic violence in the region where the virus has been reported, health experts are warning.

Four people have tested positive for Ebola in and around Mangina, a town of about 60,000 people in North Kivu province, 100 km (62 miles) from the Ugandan border.

Six samples taken from hospitalised patients arrived in Kinshasa on Tuesday for analysis by the National Institute of Biomedical Research (INRB), he said.

Meanwhile, DRC flew a team led by its Health Minister Oly Ilunga Kalenga to an eastern region hit by Ebola on Thursday to help oversee the response.

They said the fact that they had caught the virus so early showed that preparations for combatting the deadly disease had been effective.

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. "Although we did not expect to face a tenth epidemic so early, the detection of the virus is an indicator of the proper functioning of the surveillance system put in place".

The World Health Organization said it had begun moving staff and supplies into the area. Travel through the village of Mangina, where the majority of the cases are from, has been barred, according to The Washington Post.

Four cases of the Ebola virus have been confirmed in the northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, officials confirmed Wednesday.

The ministry says there is no indication the two epidemics separated by more than 2,500 kilometers (1,553 miles) are related.

Salama explained that given that North-Kivu was an active conflict zone, "the major barrier will be safely accessing the affected population".

Ebola is believed to be transported long distances by bats and can find its way into bush meat sold at local markets and eaten. It spreads through contact with bodily fluids of those infected, including the dead.

In the worst outbreak of Ebola, the disease struck the West African states of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in 2013-15, killing more than 11,300 people.

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