Ebola outbreak declared in Democratic Republic of Congo

Ebola outbreak declared in Democratic Republic of Congo

Ebola outbreak declared in Democratic Republic of Congo

At least 17 people have died in an area of northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where health officials confirmed an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus.

Congo's health ministry on Tuesday, May 8, described the fresh outbreak as a "public health emergency with global impact".

Learn how to make money online.

With this reappearance of the epidemic in 2018, the DRC will therefore be at its ninth Ebola outbreak since 1976.

The UN health agency said it would also adopt prompt testing, immediate notification of results, and a fast overall response by local and national authorities together with worldwide partners.

Ebola is considered endemic in the DRC, and this is the second outbreak there in less than a year.

So far, a total of 17 deaths have been confirmed after 21 patients initially showed symptoms of hemorrhagic fever. "Working with partners and responding early and in a coordinated way will be vital to containing this deadly disease".

"Our top priority is to get to Bikoro to work alongside the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and partners to reduce the loss of life and suffering related to this new Ebola virus disease outbreak", said Dr. Peter Salama, WHO Deputy Director-General, Emergency Preparedness and Response. Doctors Without Borders is one of the organizations who will assist the WHO, and the response will be modelled after the methods used in a 2017 Ebola outbreak that occurred in another DRC province.

Other outbreaks in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea started in 2014 and killed over eleven thousand deaths in their wake.

A multidisciplinary team of experts from World Health Organization, Médecins Sans Frontières and the Government has already been deployed to Bikoro to coordinate and strengthen the response, the organisation said.

Specialists have arrived to try to stop the virus spreading.

It is caused by a virus that has a natural reservoir in the bat, which does not itself fall ill, but can pass the microbe on to humans who hunt it for "bush-meat". The virus is transmitted to individuals from wild animals and spreads within the human inhabitants by means of human-to-human transmission.

Alex Bukreyev, a virologist and a University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston in the department of pathology, told Newsweek that population growth could potentially increase the spread of the disease.

Related news