Congo Ebola outbreak poses high regional risk, says WHO

The Democratic Republic of Congo has reported a fresh Ebola outbreak in the east of the country

The Democratic Republic of Congo has reported a fresh Ebola outbreak in the east of the country

The Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo announced today that preliminary laboratory results indicate a cluster of cases of Ebola virus in North Kivu province.

A total of 29 persons died during the most recent outbreak, which was declared over, when two weeks had passed without a new case emerging, following the release of the last patient from care. These cases follow a July 28 report of 26 cases (including 20 deaths) with indications of hemorrhagic fever.

GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Four cases of the Ebola virus have been confirmed in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the health ministry said on Wednesday. The World Health Organization has started moving staff and supplies to the area, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

A team of 12 experts from the health ministry will arrive in Beni on Thursday to set up a response operation, the ministry said, and local travel restrictions were being implemented.

The swift vaccinations of more than 3,300 people helped in containing the previous outbreak, which saw 33 deaths. Fortunately, equipment and responders to the earlier outbreak are still in DRC.

Researchers have not yet identified the particular strain of ebola causing the new outbreak. The ministry says four of six samples sent to the capital for analysis came back positive for Ebola.

During the last major Ebola outbreak in 2014, 11,000 people died when the virus spread across the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Dr Fatoumata Nafo-Traoré, IFRC's Regional Director for Africa, said: "We anticipate an extremely challenging operational environment, given the fact that the presumptive outbreak is occurring in an area affected by conflict, and that is close to both a major population centre and an worldwide border".

Meanwhile, Uganda has set up screening at the land border it shares with Congo and at its Entebbe worldwide airport.

He says it is crucial to gain access to the area as quickly as possible.He says having people and material in the country from the outbreak in Equateur is very helpful in tackling the outbreak.

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