WHO meets on Congo's latest Ebola outbreak

Desiree Burns
October 18, 2018

Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has called for an Emergency Committee meeting on the Ebola virus outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which has already claimed about 130 lives.

The Committee's advice will be made public on WHO's website and via a press conference (details below).

The statement said that the ministry of health with support from partners are supporting districts bordering DRC to heighten preparedness and readiness to handle any Ebola case that might come into the country.

According to the ministry, the cases were discovered between October 8 and October 14.

The Ebola outbreak in the North Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) now stands as the fourth largest outbreak of Ebola in the country's history. The aid organisation is also tracing contacts of confirmed cases to make sure they access treatment centres if they have contracted the virus.

This was in the Beni and Mabalako health zones, the two epicentres of the Ebola outbreak.

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"In this DRC outbreak of Ebola, there are security risks to public health responders in the field that have not been present in past outbreaks", Tom Inglesby, MD, director of the Center for Health Security of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health said in an interview with Contagion®.

"We are busy trying to fight the deadly Ebola virus but we are now facing resistance from residents in Beni".

The deadly haemorrhagic fever, which spreads through contact with bodily fluids, causes fever, vomiting and diarrhoea, impaired liver and kidney function and, in some cases, bleeding internally and externally.

A staff member of the United Nations peacekeeping mission MONUSCO was among the latest victims of the virus, the United Nations and DRC health ministry said.

The ministry said on Monday that 33 people were confirmed with Ebola virus just within last week and 24 of them died. The eastern region is close to the border with Uganda, and Rwanda.

World Health Organization stated that it had amended "its risk assessment of the Ebola epidemic in the DRC due to potential risk factors for Ebola transmission at the national and regional levels, including transport links and population movements".

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