New Ebola Cases in Democratic Republic of the Congo

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Sarah Peddie

New Ebola outbreak detected in northwest Democratic Republic of the Congo, confirmed by the Government of the country on June 1.

The virus disease is occurring in the city of Mbandaka in the Equateur province. The announcement comes as the country has suffered a long and difficult Ebola outbreak in the east which is in its final phase, while the country also battles Covid-19 and the largest measles outbreak worldwide. 

Information from the Ministry of Health is that six Ebola cases have been detected in Wangata - a commune in the city. Four of the six people who contracted the disease have died and two under care. 

Three of the six cases have been confirmed with laboratory testing. It is suspected that more people will be identified with having the disease as surveillance activities heighten. 

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said: “This is a reminder that COVID-19 is not the only health threat people face.

“Although much of our attention is on the pandemic, WHO is continuing to monitor and respond to many other health emergencies.”

This is the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s 11th outbreak of Ebola since the virus was discovered in 1976. The city of Mbandaka and the surrounding areas were the site of the Congo’s ninth outbreak - which took place from May to July 2018. 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is already responding and have been supporting the response to the outbreak since the 2018 outbreak - a further 25 people are expected to arrive today to help with the outbreak.

WHO is also working to make sure that essential health services are provided to these communities.

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