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DR Congo records new Ebola case

DR Congo records new Ebola case

The World Health Organization (WHO) is reporting a new Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Although only one case has been confirmed so far, there are concerns the outbreak could spread, as the patient was not diagnosed and isolated quickly.

An Ebola outbreak in West Africa between 2013 and 2015 caused at least 11,000 deaths – the haemorrhagic disease has a mortality rate of around 50%.

This latest Ebola outbreak started in Mbandaka, a densely populated city with road and air links to the capital, Kinshasa.

The patient was ill for more than a week before he sought treatment, and he died the day he was admitted to hospital.

The WHO's Africa emergencies manager, Fiona Braka, said the delay in medical care is a concern.

"It’s very important that we quickly identify all the contacts and that the necessary isolation and monitoring is done to ensure that all those that are potentially infected are identified quickly and that we curb the spread of the disease," she added.

This is DR Congo's sixth Ebola outbreak since 2018 – its health workers have experience, and it has a stockpile of vaccines.

A massive contact tracing operation is now under way – and a vaccination campaign.

The country’s last outbreak was limited, it recorded just 11 cases, and six deaths. The hope is, this outbreak, despite the delay, can be controlled in the same way.

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Author: DRC Congo,Sunday

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