New Ebola outbreak detected in West Congo, 4 dead

Grant Boone
June 2, 2020

"This is a reminder that Covid-19 is not the only health threat people face", he said in a statement. They started the response at the local level yesterday (Sunday),' Longondo said.

Authorities were hoping to declare an end to the current outbreak in April with cases rapidly receding, but a flare-up in the east put that on hold.

Six cases have been detected, four of which have died in the city, a trading hub of 1.5 million people on the Congo River with regular transport links to the capital Kinshasa.

"WHO already has staff in Mbandaka, #DRC supporting the new #Ebola outbreak response".

Seven new cases were then recorded, including four deaths, two recoveries and one patient who fled, and the clock was restarted on May 14. "WHO is continuing to monitor & respond to many health emergencies", Tedros added.

"The announcement comes as a long, hard and complex Ebola outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo is in its final phase, while the country also battles COVID-19 and the world's largest measles outbreak", WHO said in a statement.

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The Ebola virus causes hemorrhagic fever and is spread through direct contact with body fluids from an infected person, who suffers severe vomiting and diarrhoea.

No coronavirus cases have been reported in Equateur province. Congo's government, however, has been lauded as quick to identify and contain Ebola in most previous outbreaks.

The death rate is typically high, ranging up to 90 percent in some outbreaks, according to the WHO.

The conflict-wracked country is also fighting its own coronavirus outbreak, recording 3 195 infections - 2 896 in the capital Kinshasa - and 72 deaths, according to official figures released Monday. However, this time around the country is busy battling the outbreak of coronavirus as numbers continue to rise and experts are uncertain is the requisite precautionary measures against malaria will get any attention. Mbandaka is 600 kilometres (370 miles) from Kinshasa, but the two cities are connected by the Congo river, with a trip down it taking about a week.

The newest outbreak in the DRC's northwest is the 11th in the country since scientists first characterised the disease in 1976.

While the outbreak "is in its final stages", the group said, "new outbreaks of Ebola are expected in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, given the existence of the virus in an animal reservoir in many parts of the country".

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