Published: Sat, June 09, 2018
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Congo reports first confirmed Ebola case in over a week


New Ebola outbreak has been declared in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Those efforts and the slowing pace of new cases have led health officials to express cautious optimism about containing the outbreak, although its location directly upstream the Congo River of the capital Kinshasa remains a concern.

There are now 38 confirmed cases of the virus, including 13 deaths, the health ministry said late Thursday.

"The outbreak is ongoing", said Dr. Peter Salama, WHO deputy director-general of emergency preparedness and response, in a webcast on Twitter.

Health workers have so far tracked down 91 per cent of the more than 600 people, who are known to have had contact with infected patients, Of those, who were tracked down, 98 per cent were vaccinated.

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In the past week, one new person was confirmed to suffer from the hemorrhagic disease in Iboko, along with five suspected cases, including two in Bikoro and three in Wangata, all regions within the Equateur province.

"This is a major logistical and boots-on-the-ground epidemiological endeavor now", Salama said, adding that work there will go on for weeks.

Over 1,800 health workers and other people who could have been exposed to the virus have received an experimental vaccine first tested in the waning days of the West Africa epidemic. The virus spreads via bodily fluids of infected people, including the dead. In summary, there has been very strong progress in outbreak response, " Salama said. "Phase one, to protect urban centers and towns, has gone well and we can be cautiously optimistic".

World Health Organization said it is supporting emergency response and preparedness efforts by nine neighboring countries.

Republic of Congo and Central African Republic are closest to the outbreak, but Congo is also bordered by Angola, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

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