Published: Wed, August 08, 2018
Medical | By Johnnie Horton

Congo's health ministry confirms 3 more cases of Ebola

Congo's health ministry confirms 3 more cases of Ebola

The Ebola virus outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has killed 33 people, the World Health Organization said Sunday.

The acting director of Health Services Dr Henry Mwebesa on Monday issued a notice directing all district health officers in the country to be vigilant.

The outbreak is spreading through five health zones in North Kivu province and one health zone in Ituri province, which poses geographic and political challenges, the WHO said.

Tarik Jasarevic from the World Health Organization explains why it is so hard to deal with the latest outbreak. More than 3,000 doses remain in stock in the capital Kinshasa, allowing authorities to deploy them quickly to affected areas near the Ugandan border.

Health workers are in the process of setting up a so-called cold chain, the series of measures needed to keep the vaccine well below zero in a tropical climate without reliable power supplies, the ministry said.

Among the ill were three healthcare workers, two of whom died.

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An additional 43 suspected cases of Ebola were reported, including 13 confirmed by lab testing, according to WHO.

At least four Ebola deaths are confirmed in the new outbreak, Health Minister Dr Oly Ilunga Kalenga said in a statement.

But workers were still able to travel hundreds of miles by motorbike to trace people who had come into contact with the virus, a vital part of its containment.

The central African country has dealt with Ebola for decades and this is its tenth outbreak of the virus.

There is no specific treatment, and the virus can be fatal in up to 90 percent of cases, depending on the strain.

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