Mother dies of Ebola in Congo's South Kivu province

Grant Boone
August 18, 2019

South Kivu province-the third to be affected in the outbreak-neighbors North Kivu, where the main outbreak epicenters are located.

The eastern DR Congo province of South Kivu said on Friday it had recorded its first confirmed cases of Ebola in the country's year-old epidemic, one of which was a fatality.

Ebola has killed at least 1,900 people in the past year, the biggest toll after 11,300 died in West Africa in 2014-2016. All responses will be confidential.

It was reported that the woman travelled to an area - Beni- where the disease outbreak has been on high rate since it began last August.

As Rwanda fights on to ensure zero Ebola cases, all Rwandans have been requested to avoid unnecessary travels to high risk areas, to continue good hygiene practices of hand-washing and to report on sight Ebola symptoms to the nearest healthcare providers.

The woman had been vaccinated, the slide said.

South Kivu Governor Theo Ngwabidje told reporters: 'Teams from the national anti-Ebola coordination campaign arrived yesterday [Thursday] to provide support'.

The local Ebola response team has identified more than 120 people who may have been infected with the Ebola virus by contact with the woman and her child.

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The patients, who included a mother and her six children, had been in contact with a relative who escaped from a treatment centre.

Earlier this month, four people were diagnosed with Ebola, two of which died, in the Congolese city of Goma, less than five miles from the border of Rwanda.

The Ebola virus causes fever, vomiting and severe diarrhea, often followed by kidney and liver failure, internal and external bleeding.

But it's the first Congo outbreak where vaccines have been rolled out on a large-scale.

USA researchers on Monday said two prototype drugs, known by their lab names as REGN-EB3 and mAb114, slashed mortality rates among Ebola patients in a trial in eastern DRC.

Amid the unrest, health workers have vaccinated almost 200,000 people.

The disease is spread by contact with infected bodily fluids.

Should there be a major increase in the number of cases, or a spread to new locations or even an unrelated Ebola outbreak elsewhere, there may not be enough vaccine left to stop it spreading further.

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