Published: Sun, August 05, 2018
Health Care | By Belinda Paul

DRC declares new Ebola outbreak in North Kivu province

DRC declares new Ebola outbreak in North Kivu province

Dr. Fatoumata Nafo-Traore, regional director for Africa, says the proximity to a city of more than 230,000 people and an global border also complicates the response.

At least 20 people have died after showing symptoms of haemorrhagic fever in and around the village of Mangina, the Congolese health ministry said.

Twenty deaths from hemorrhagic fever have also been recorded in the area, the ministry said.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has announced a new outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus, just days after a recent emergence of the disease, which killed 33 people, was declared over.

"Since we are coming out of another Ebola outbreak, we have kept staff and equipment in place", said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

Congo has dealt with Ebola for decades and this is its tenth outbreak of the virus. The DRC said 26 people have reported illnesses.

Ministry of Health informed the World Health Organization (WHO) yesterday (August 1) of six possible cases, four of which have come back positive for Ebola virus, although the species responsible remains unclear.

Dr Fatoumata Nafo-Traoré, IFRC's Regional Director for Africa, said: "We anticipate an extremely challenging operational environment, given the fact that the presumptive outbreak is occurring in an area affected by conflict, and that is close to both a major population centre and an global border".

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

About 1,000 civilians have been killed by armed groups and government soldiers around Beni since 2014, and the wider region of North Kivu holds over 1 million displaced people.

It is believed to be spread over long distances by bats and can turn up in bush meat, available at food markets throughout Congo. That is more than twice as many as any other country. This time in North Kivu province. A highly infective virus, it can be spread via contact with animals or the bodily fluids of the infected - including the dead.

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