On Saturday, health officials of the Democratic Republic of the Congo reported a new outbreak of the Ebola virus. The patient was admitted to an Ebola treatment center for intensive care on Thursday 21 April, but unfortunately died later that day.
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According to the WHO, officials ran Ebola tests because he was showing symptoms of the disease. The deceased was under treatment at home for a week before being admitted to the treatment centre.
“Time is not with us,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s regional director for Africa. “The illness has started for two weeks and now we are playing catch-up. The positive news is that health officials in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have more experience than anyone else in the world in quickly controlling Ebola outbreaks”, he said.
Health officials of the Democratic Republic of the Congo declare a new outbreak #ebola After a case was confirmed in Mandaka, a city in the North-Western Equatorial Province, @WHO informed of.
31 year old male patient died.https://t.co/x0APIq4NMu
— United Nations News (@UN_News_Centre)
23 April 2022
DRC health officials are trying to identify contacts to monitor their health and disinfect the health facility where the patient was treated.
Plans are set to begin vaccination in the coming days, as stockpiles of the rVSV-ZEBOV Ebola vaccine are already available in the cities of Goma and Kinshasa.
The WHO highlighted, “The vaccines will be sent to Mandaka and administered through a ‘ring vaccination strategy’—where contacts and contacts of contacts are vaccinated to prevent the spread of the virus and protect lives.”
“Many people in Mbandaka have already been vaccinated against Ebola, which should help reduce the impact of the disease,” Dr Moeti said. “Everyone who was vaccinated during the 2020 outbreak will be vaccinated.”
The fourteenth Ebola outbreak has occurred in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 1976. According to the United Nations health agency, the new outbreak is the sixth since 2018 – the most frequent occurrence in the country’s Ebola history.
The last outbreaks in the Equatorial Province were in 2020 and 2018, with 130 and 54 recorded cases, respectively. At present, only one case has been confirmed and investigations are underway to trace the source of the outbreak.
Ebola is a serious, often fatal disease affecting humans and other primates. Case fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90% in previous outbreaks.