Ebola Outbreak in Northwest Congo, 2 Years After the last One

Four people have died in a new Ebola outbreak in DR Congo's North West region.

Updated
Health News
2 min read
The World Health Organisation named Congo’s Ebola outbreak as the second largest after West Africa’s in 2014.
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Nearly two years after the Democratic Republic of Congo last reported an Ebola outbreak, a fresh outbreak in the country's northwest has been reported, with four deaths. The new outbreak even as the country battles COVID-19 comes as a huge blow.

The country's Health Minister Eteni Longondo was quoted as saying that "four people have died" in the city of Mbandaka.

The World Health Organisation has also confirmed the outbreak.

Addressing a press conference, the minister said, "The National Institute of Biomedical Research (INRB) has confirmed to me that samples from Mbandaka tested positive for Ebola." Vaccine and medicine will be dispatched to the city.

The outbreak is a concern as the city is a transport hub on the Congo river and has a population of a million people. The last outbreak in the city in July 2018 had left 33 dead.

The country hopes their experience in dealing with the outbreak in the past will help them stamp out the disease quickly.

The Eastern part of DR Congo has seen 2,280 deaths since mid 2018. The country was hoping to declare that part of the region Ebola free by end June.

In 2019, with over 28,000 cases and over 11,000 deaths, WHO had declared Ebola a global health emergency.

Ebola is a deadly disease that mainly affects humans and non primates. It is caused by an infection with a group of viruses within the genus Ebolavirus, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The virus was first seen in 1976 near the Ebola river in DR Congo. It has led to several outbreaks in various African countries.

It causes sudden fever, weakness, muscle pain and sore throat. This progresses to vomiting, diarrhoea and bleeding.

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