33 reported dead in Congo Ebola outbreak

33 reported dead in Congo Ebola outbreak

33 reported dead in Congo Ebola outbreak

Just last month, the DRC declared victory against an Ebola outbreak elsewhere in the country that began this spring, in which it used the experimental Merck vaccine rVSV-ZEBOV.

"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 alerts to Public Health Emergency Operation Centre", Dr Mwebesa wrote.

At least four Ebola deaths are confirmed in the new outbreak, Health Minister Dr Oly Ilunga Kalenga said in a statement.

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The Ministry of Health has asked health workers to enhance their surveillance following a fresh Ebola outbreak in neigbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

"We know there have been three cases in Beni hospital that are positive and another six in Mangina - where the epidemic is reported to have started close to Ituri province", according to the director general in the fight against the disease, Dr. Ndjoloko Tambwe Bathé.

North Kivu is located in the Eastern province of DRC that borders Uganda in the Western side. "Teams are conducting investigations on the ground to identify the contacts of the confirmed cases, including health workers", he says.

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The virus, believed to be carried long distances by bats, poses a high regional risk, World Health Organization has said, noting that Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and South Sudan share borders with eastern Congo. More than 3,000 doses remain in stock in the capital Kinshasa, allowing authorities to deploy them quickly to affected areas near the Ugandan border.

North Kivu also hosts over 1 million displaced people and fighting between government forces and armed militant groups makes containing the highly infectious virus a challenge. Scientists have to confirm that the Zaire species of Ebola is the cause of the outbreak.

There was a concern it would spread to Kinshasa - 364 miles (586km) south on the river, which has an global airport and 12 million people residents.

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