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techkenyot.com August 18, 2018


New Ebola outbreak kills 20 in Congo

04 August 2018, 03:45 | Silvia Roy

Congo confirms 4 Ebola cases week after outbreak ends

A health worker was sprayed with chlorine after visiting the isolation ward at Bikoro hospital in May

An worldwide delegation has arrived in the town of Beni in Democratic Republic of Congo, 30 km (18 miles) from where an Ebola outbreak was declared, the World Health Organization said on Thursday.

DR Congo reported on Wednesday that a new outbreak has killed 20 people in eastern Beni in North Kivu Province.

The North Kivu health division notified the health ministry on Saturday of 26 cases of haemorrhagic fever, including 20 deaths in North Kivu province, the ministry said.

Experts from the health ministry will arrive in the region on Thursday to coordinate a response to the virus, the ministry said.

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The Ministry of Health noted that therapeutic treatments are still in country from the last outbreak, but the species of this Ebola virus has yet to be determined.

In Geneva, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said it still had staff and equipment in place in DR Congo after dealing with the May-July outbreak, and this would give it a "head-start". Out of six blood samples analysed, four tested positive of the virus.

A total of 29 persons died during the most recent outbreak, which was declared over, when two weeks had passed without a new case emerging, following the release of the last patient from care.

Efforts to contain the virus could be complicated by security problems. "The major barrier will be safely accessing the affected population", Peter Salama, WHO Deputy Director-General of emergency preparedness and response, said in a statement.

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Authorities did not immediately say how many cases had been detected.

The province shares borders with Rwanda and Uganda with a great deal of cross-border movement due to the trade activities, which, World Health Organization warned, could increase the risk of possible spread of the virus.

The latest outbreak is the 10th in the DRC since 1976, when it was discovered in the north of the country, then called Zaire, and named after a river nearby. It spreads through contact with bodily fluids of those infected, including the dead.

An outbreak from 2014 to 2016 killed over 11,000 people in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

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