Democratic Republic of the Congo announces new outbreak of Ebola

(CNN) – Health authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) announced on Friday In a statement on Saturday, the World Health Organization reported a new outbreak of the Ebola virus, after confirming a case of infection in the city of Mbandaka in the northwest region of Ecuador.

The World Health Organization said this is the province’s third outbreak since 2018 and the 14th Ebola outbreak in the country since 1976.

“Time is not on our side,” said Dr Machidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “The disease had an early onset for two weeks and we are now on our way to catching up. The positive news is that health authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have more experience than anyone else in the world in bringing the Ebola outbreak under control quickly.”

The World Health Organization said that so far only one case has been confirmed. The patient was a 31-year-old man who began experiencing symptoms on 5 April. He sought treatment at a local health center after being sick for more than a week at home. The World Health Organization said the man was taken to an Ebola treatment center on April 21 for intensive care, but died later that day.

The World Health Organization said health workers recognized the symptoms of Ebola and sent samples “immediately” for testing. The World Health Organization said that “efforts are already underway to stop the current outbreak” and vaccinations are scheduled to begin in the coming days.

“Many people in Mbandaka have already been vaccinated against Ebola, which will help reduce the impact of the disease,” said Dr. Moeti. “Everyone vaccinated during the 2020 outbreak will be revaccinated.”

The World Health Organization said the deceased patient received a “safe and dignified burial, which includes modifying traditional funeral ceremonies in such a way as to reduce the risk of transmission of infectious fluids to those present.” The World Health Organization said anyone who may have had contact with the patient is being identified and will be monitored, and the health center where the patient received care has been disinfected.

Previous outbreaks in the province of Ecuador were in 2020, when 130 cases were reported, and in 2018, when 54 cases were reported, the World Health Organization said.

According to the World Health Organization, “Ebola is a serious, often fatal disease that affects humans and other primates.” The WHO said case-fatality rates have ranged from 25% to 90% in previous outbreaks, but that effective treatment is available and if patients receive it early, their chances of survival are “dramatically improved”.

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