Two cases of Ebola confirmed in Democratic Republic of Congo

Alicia Farmer
May 9, 2018

The virus is transmitted to human through contact with wild animals and can then be passed from person to person.

Congo's health ministry has confirmed two cases of Ebola in this central African country, a resurgence almost 10 months after the end of an earlier outbreak. The average case fatality rate is around 50%.

Two out of five samples collected from patients were confirmed to have tested positive for Ebola, which the DRC reported to the World Health Organization.

As of May 3, the government said, "Twenty-one cases of fever with hemorrhagic indications and 17 deaths" had occurred in the northwest part of the country in the province of Equateur. The last outbreak recorded by the country took place in May 2017 in the northern province of Bas-Uele which killed four people.

The global health organisation says it has released $1m (£738,000) from an emergency fund and has deployed more than 50 experts to work with officials in the DR Congo.

"Working with partners and responding early and in a co-ordinated way will be vital to containing this deadly disease".

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The first multidisciplinary team comprised of experts from WHO, Médecins Sans Frontières and Provincial Division of Health travelled today to Bikoro to strengthen coordination and investigations.

The WHO stated it's once more working carefully with the federal government to quickly scale up its operations and mobilize well being companions, together with Medicin sans Frontieres (Medical doctors With out Borders), utilizing its mannequin of a profitable response to the Ebola outbreak of 2017. The cases were reported from Ilkoko Iponge health facility, about 18 miles from the town of Bikoro (see Google map below), which has very limited health facilities and few supplies.

"We still dispose of the well trained human resources that were able to rapidly control previous epidemics", it said.

The WHO said in the coming days it will deploy epidemiologists, logisticians, clinicians, infection prevention and control experts, risk communication specialists, and vaccination support teams.

Further downstream the river flows past Democratic Republic of Congo's capital Kinshasa and Brazzaville, capital of neighbouring Congo Republic - two cities with a combined population of over 12 million people.

According to the Ministry of Health, the five samples taken from suspected cases were sent for analysis to the INRB of Kinshasa on Sunday, May 6.

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