new Ebola outbreak
Ebola Outbreak 2018, (Image by REUTERS)

New Ebola Outbreak Reported in Congo

The deadly coronavirus has claimed hundreds and thousands of lives around the world. During this current pandemic, another new Ebola outbreak shows up in Democratic Republic of the Congo. The new cases of this disease are from the Wangata health zone, Mbandaka, in Équateur province.

The country is already facing a crisis due to the coronavirus and the largest outbreak of measles in the world. The complicated and long outbreak of Ebola is in the final phase in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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There have been six cases of Ebola within Wangata, as the Ministry of Health confirms. Out of the six Ebola patients, four were unable to survive while the two are getting treatment. The number of new Ebola cases is expected to increase with the increase in surveillance activities. The testing in the laboratory-confirmed three cases out of six Ebola cases.

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The Director-general of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the new Ebola outbreak shows that the coronavirus is not the only threat to the health of people. He also said that the WHO is mainly focusing on the coronavirus pandemic but the rest of the health emergencies will also be catered and monitored by the organization.

The Ebola virus first emerged in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The country is currently going through its 11th outbreak of the virus. The 9th outbreak of Ebola occurred in 2018 during the summer. The site of the outbreak was Mbandaka and the nearby area in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti said that the new Ebola outbreak is happening during a crisis. The WHO along with the Africa CDC, health authorities, and many other organizations has been working for over a couple of years to improve the ability of the country to counter outbreaks of the disease.

He also said that the WHO has planned to provide a team to strengthen its response against the outbreak and support their local leadership.

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The countries nearby are also vulnerable to this virus and the outbreak can spread more depending upon the transport. The WHO needs to act immediately to contain the outbreak.

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Capacity was built in Mbandaka by the WHO during the previous outbreak to control the disease. The WHO is supporting the country through that capacity by collecting the samples and testing for the new Ebola virus. The team is also working to send the samples to the national laboratory to confirm the disease.

The procedure for tracing the contacts of infected individuals is also underway. The response to the outbreak as per the government is getting a support from getting supplies from Kinshasa and North Kivu. Another team of 25 members will also reach Mbandaka soon.

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WHO is also making sure that the communities do not suffer from the unavailability of their basic health facilities under these unusual circumstances.

The 10th outbreak of the Ebola virus is in the last phase in Ituri, North Kivu, and South Kivu. New Ebola outbreaks are expected to appear after the identification of new cases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.