In Congo declared an Ebola outbreak: 17 dead

Democratic Republic of Congo

Congo confirms 2 Ebola cases in northwest, 10 suspected

The virus, which can cause multiple organ failures, is passed human-to-human by contact through the mouth, nose, or broken skin with blood or other bodily fluids of those infected.

Health officials in the northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo have confirmed a new outbreak of Ebola in the country on Tuesday. The average case fatality rate is around 50%.

Congo's Health Ministry said that of the five samples sent to the National Institute of Biological Research in Kinshasa, two came back positive for the Zaire strain of Ebola in in Bikoro, in the country's Equateur Province.

At least 17 deaths in the region over the past five weeks are suspected to be linked to the outbreak, but have not been confirmed as Ebola cases.

In the 2017 outbreak, regulatory committees in the DRC approved ring vaccination with the unlicensed Ebola vaccine, but it was not used during the outbreak.

The samples were gathered after the Equateur Province Health Ministry notified Kinshasa on May 3 of some 21 cases of a hemorrhagic fever in the Ikoko Impenge area, including 17 deaths, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Congo's government.

"Working with partners and responding early and in a co-ordinated way will be vital to containing this deadly disease".

Bikoro is located on the shores of Lake Tumba close to the border with the Republic of the Congo.

Recall that in the summer of 2017, the outbreak of Ebola in DR Congo ceased.

A team of WHO experts - alongside regional health officials and staff from worldwide medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) - are travelling to Bikoro as part of a coordinated medical response.

"We know that addressing this outbreak will require a comprehensive and coordinated response".

Many health facilities in the region rely on global assistance for both services and supplies. The town is roughly 40 miles from the Republic of Congo border. The organization released $1 million from a Contingency Fund for Emergencies in order to help stop the spread.

An effective response to the 2017 EVD outbreak was achieved through the timely alert by local authorities of suspect cases, immediate testing of blood samples due to strengthened national laboratory capacity, the early announcement of the outbreak by the government, rapid response activities by local and national health authorities with the robust support of global partners, and speedy access to flexible funding.

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