Wednesday, 15 August, 2018

9 dead since Ebola resurfaced in DR Congo this month - ministry

Traffic in the city of Mbandaka in northwest Congo in May 2018 during a previos Ebola outbreak Ebola outbreak latest: Health workers receive vaccinations as Congo death toll RISES to 36
Delores Daniels | 11 August, 2018, 07:29

There are now 16 confirmed cases of the hemorrhagic fever, 27 probable cases and 31 suspected ones under investigation.

World Health Organization has said 3,000 doses of the vaccine are still in Congo's capital, Kinshasa, and it can access up to 300,000 more on short notice.

Some 36 people have died from hemorrhagic fever amid the outbreak, but officials said many can not be confirmed as Ebola deaths at this point.

At least nine Ebola deaths are confirmed in the new outbreak, which was declared August 1, the health minister, Dr. Oly Ilunga Kalenga, said in a statement Tuesday.

Congo's health ministry on Tuesday confirmed 43 people have been infected by the virus in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri, 36 of which have been confirmed dead.

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In the past, dozens of people were killed by the disease in the central African country.

There is no specific treatment, and the virus can be fatal in up to 90 percent of cases, depending on the strain.

He cited new results of genetic analysis that confirm the strain of Ebola in the new outbreak is the Zaire strain, one for which the vaccine can be used.

WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said: "Around 40 health workers are expected to be vaccinated today; by end of the week, once all the necessary steps are in place, vaccination of community contacts and their contacts will commence".

The WHO says the latest Ebola outbreak in eastern Congo has been traced to a 65-year old woman. That outbreak was the ninth recorded outbreak that Congo has seen since the virus was first discovered in 1976.

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Thousands in the region have been displaced by fighting between rebel groups and government forces. Overall 33 people have died, it said.

"It's going to be a very, very complex operation", Salama told journalists in Geneva on Friday.

It was successful during its first wide-scale usage against the previous outbreak in Equateur Province.

Containing the deadly virus amid the high level of insecurity in the Kivus could prove to be even more challenging, as getting access to people in danger of contracting Ebola would, in some cases, require an armed escort, he added.

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