Ebola Vaccinations Expected to Begin in Congo’s North Kivu

Modesto Morganelli
Agosto 9, 2018

Just a week after being declared Ebola-free, the Democratic Republic of Congo said yesterday that a new outbreak of the deadly virus has killed at least 20 people.

Health workers in Congo have been setting up refrigerators to chill an Ebola vaccine required to handle an outbreak suspected to have infected 43 people.

In the latest outbreak, declared last week, 43 people are believed to have been infected in North Kivu province, including 33 who have died, the United Nations health agency said.

The Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) announced last week that tests of cases in the country's North Kivu province by the Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale (INRB) revealed Ebola in patients.

"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.

There are now 16 confirmed cases of the hemorrhagic fever, 27 probable cases and 31 suspected ones under investigation. This is its tenth outbreak of the virus.

"This new cluster is occurring in an environment which is very different from where we were operating in the northwest", Peter Salama, WHO deputy director-general of Emergency Preparedness and Response, said.

The scenario of the disease poses other challenges, as it is a zone of conflict in which several armed groups operate and there is an active contraband given its proximity to the borders with Rwanda and Uganda.

About 900 contacts of confirmed or suspected cases have been identified for monitoring, World Health Organization spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said. The major barrier will be safely accessing the affected population'. More than one million people are displaced there. More than one million displaced people are now residing in the affected region, which shares borders with Rwanda and Uganda.

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