Ebola kills 33 in Democratic Republic of Congo

Desiree Burns
August 7, 2018

Health workers will begin administering vaccinations Wednesday to combat a new Ebola outbreak that has already claimed dozens of lives in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the country's health ministry said.

"The objective of this communication is therefore to request you to enhance your surveillance systems and preparedness and have a high index of suspicion for Ebola, urgently report any aslerts to Public Health Emergency Operation Centre", Dr Mwebesa wrote. He says there are now 16 confirmed cases of the hemorrhagic fever, 27 probable cases and 31 suspected ones under investigation.

Dr Mwebesa said the surveillance is necessary because the affected areas in DRC are now facing political turmoil thus causing movement of refugees to Uganda's neighbouring districts.

North Kivu borders Rwanda and Uganda and trade activity fuels heavy movement across the borders.

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North Kivu province is home to more than 1 million people displaced people amid fighting between the government and militant groups.

Three cases have been confirmed in Beni, a regional trading hub of several hundred thousand people about 30 km (18 miles) from the centre of the outbreak in the town of Mabalako, and some 70 km from the Ugandan border.

There are 33 additional "suspected cases" in the North Kivu outbreak that are pending lab test results to "confirm or exclude Ebola virus disease", according to WHO.

Three healthcare workers have been affected, including two who died, the World Health Organization said.

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