WHO Confirms Second Ebola Case in Congo Outbreak

16 May, 2017, 08:59 | Author: Lorena Waters
  • Ebola Outbreak: Three Dead In Democratic Republic Of Congo

A second case of Ebola in Democratic Republic of Congo was confirmed by the World Health Organization on Sunday after an outbreak this week of 17 other suspected cases.

Following the WHO announcement, the government of Tanzania has issued a health alert calling on citizens to remain vigilant even as the Tanzanian Health Ministry said it was monitoring the recent outbreak closely. Officials are trying to locate 125 people who are believed to be linked to cases identified in the remote northeastern province of Bas-Uele in Congo, The Independent reported.

The 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa killed more than 11,300 people.

The country began health screening at worldwide airports during the Ebola crisis of 2014, and the screening has continued since then.

The UN agency says the first case occurred April 22 in a male some 870 miles (1,400 kilometres) from the capital, Kinshasa.

The government of Zimbabwe is guarding at all points of entry into the country against another outbreak of Ebola that has recently emerged from the Democratic Republic of Congo. "However, investigations are ongoing to assess the full extent of the outbreak and, therefore, high vigilance still needs to be maintained", World Health Organization said on Saturday.

The Congolese health ministry had notified the WHO of a "lab-confirmed case" of Ebola, it added on Twitter.

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The last outbreak in 2014 in DRC's Boende region - an event unrelated to the 2014 West Africa outbreak that killed thousands - was short-lived, as a team of field epidemiologists quickly stopped the spread of the disease, limiting it to 66 cases, 49 of them fatal.

WHO Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, MD, traveled to Kinshasa to address the outbreak, according to the WHO Africa statement.

This is the eighth outbreak of Ebola virus disease since its discovery in 1976 in DR Congo.

According to WHO, the country's health minister requested the United Nations agency's support after one of five blood specimens tested positive for the Ebola virus disease.

After the massive West African Ebola outbreak, the global vaccine alliance Gavi reached an agreement with the Merck, the pharmaceutical company producing the vaccine, to buy $5 million worth of the vaccine once it is fully licensed.

At least three people have been confirmed dead and six others have contracted the deadly virus in the latest outbreak in the DR Congo, according to the BBC.

The disease had ravaged Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, and was only recently contained in these countries.

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