Four new Ebola cases hit DR Congo's North Kivu province

Pearl Mccarthy
August 5, 2018

The two outbreaks are separated by more than 2,500 kilometers (1,553 miles).

Officials have not confirmed the particular strain of Ebola causing the outbreak, which may have killed 20 people, but WHO's emergency response chief Peter Salama said it could be the Zaire, Sudan or Bundibugyo strain.

Dr. Fatoumata Nafo-Traore, regional director for Africa, says the proximity to a city of more than 230,000 people and an worldwide border also complicates the response.

Rwanda is on a high alert following a fresh outbreak of the deadly Ebola disease in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

Travel into and out of the Mangina has been blocked.

The World Health Organization raised $36 million from a variety of countries and nongovernmental organizations to fight that outbreak, and more than 3,300 people were vaccinated.

The DRC said there was no evidence to suggest the new outbreak was connected to the previous event, which resulted in 54 confirmed illnesses, 33 of them fatal.

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A team of 12 experts are to set up a response operation.

Dr Fatoumata Nafo-Traoré, IFRC's Regional Director for Africa, said: "We anticipate an extremely challenging operational environment, given the fact that the presumptive outbreak is occurring in an area affected by conflict, and that is close to both a major population centre and an global border". Four samples taken from six people who have so far survived tested positive for Ebola, the ministry added.

The report of the outbreak, the tenth to hit DRC since it was discovered in 1976, came barely a week after Congo had declared the end to an epidemic in its northwest region. "The major barrier will be safely accessing the affected population".

Once present in humans, it causes haemorrhagic fever, vomiting and diarrhea and is spread through direct contact with body fluids.

Meanwhile, Uganda has set up screening at the land border it shares with Congo and at its Entebbe global airport.

An outbreak from 2014 to 2016 killed over 11,000 people in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. The DRC said 26 people have reported illnesses.

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