New Ebola Virus Outbreak In Northern DR Congo

Medical workers monitoring patients at the height of the Ebola crisis in 2014

A second case of Ebola in Democratic Republic of Congo was confirmed by the World Health Organization on Sunday after an outbreak this week of 17 other suspected cases. These included haemorrhagic symptoms in Likati Health Zone, Bas Uele Province in the north of the DRC, bordering Central African Republic.

Last week, World Health Organization reported one Ebola-related death and the possibility of two others.

Aside from the 1976 outbreak in DRC, which killed 280 people in Yambuku, the deadliest outbreak came in 1995, when Ebola killed 250 people in Kikwit.

Congo was not one of the three countries involved in the 2014-2016 outbreak-Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone-which killed more than 11,000 people, but the country has had several Ebola epidemics in the past.

The 2014 Ebola outbreak prompted investigations into the global response and revealed findings that were less than promising for future outbreaks of Ebola or similar diseases.

The EU wants to quickly respond to health emergencies, such as the Ebola and Zika virus outbreaks in the future with a new medical corps, the European Commission said on Monday (15 February).

Distribution of health forms to arriving passengers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) may be resumed over a reported outbreak again of the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. Since then, there have been at least nine outbreaks in the country. The WHO says three people are now dead with another 17 suspected of infection.

"We are grateful to WHO and other partners for the swift support in carrying out investigations that led to the confirmation of this outbreak", said Oly Ilunga Kalenga, Minister of Health of DR Congo.

Ebola occasionally jumps to humans from animals including bats and monkeys.

The GAVI vaccine alliance said Friday that about 300 000 emergency doses of an Ebola vaccine could be available in case of a severe outbreak, and was ready to support the Congolese government.

The Ebola virus, which is spread through direct contact with blood or bodily fluids, such as sweat, feces, vomit or semen, is highly contagious and extremely fatal if untreated, with an average survival rate of approximately 50 percent, according to WHO. The outbreak was declared in a small town, Aketi, that lies more than 800 miles from the densely populated capital Kinshasa and 81 miles from the provincial hub of Buta.

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