New Ebola Virus Outbreak Hits DRC Days After Being Declared Ebola Free

Tony Abu Momoh
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New Ebola Virus Outbreak in DRC Days after Being Declared Ebola Free

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has suffered another outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus several days after being certified Ebola free by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The WHO had declared DRC Ebola free after the most recent emergence of the virus in northwestern Equateur Province which killed 33 was declared to be at an end.

Four new cases of the Ebola virus were however confirmed in North Kivu province, although health officials reported that this present outbreak had no link to the recently ended outbreak in the northwestern Equateur province.

According to the health minister of DRC, Oly Ilunga, “Although we did not expect to face a tenth epidemic so early, the detection of the virus is an indicator of the proper functioning of the surveillance system,” 

Although this Ebola strain has not been identified, the WHO says it might be impossible to use a vaccine to tackle the new outbreak.

According to a senior official of the WHO, Peter Salama, the Ebola strain might be the Zaire, Sudan or Bundibugyo strain.

If it is the Zaire strain, the Merck vaccine used in the last outbreak may be an option, otherwise the situation will be much more complex “and we may not have any vaccine options”,

A laboratory was set up in the city of Beni by International experts where the outbreak was declared.

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The Authorities in North Kivu alerted the health ministry on Saturday about 26 new cases of hemorrhagic fever and 20 deaths which had occurred in and around Mangina, a town 30km west of the city of Beni and 100km from the DRC’s border with Uganda.

6 samples were taken from patients of whom four ended up being positive for the Ebola virus at the National Institute of Biological Research in Kinshasa

A team of 12 experts from the health ministry will arrive in Beni on Thursday to set up a response operation, the ministry said, and local travel restrictions were being implemented.

Ebola is caused by a virus which results in a hemorrhagic fever that in extreme cases causes fatal bleeding from internal organs, the mouth, eyes or ears.

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Tony Abu Momoh is an enthusiastic individual who believes in the greatest good for the greatest number.
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