Ebola outbreak in Congo yet again.
Health authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) declared a new Ebola outbreak on Friday, after a case was confirmed in the city of Mbandaka, in the northwestern Equateur Province, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement Saturday.
This is the third outbreak in the province since 2018 and the 14th Ebola outbreak for the country since 1976, the WHO said.
So far, only one case has been confirmed, the WHO said. The patient was a 31-year-old man, who began experiencing symptoms on April 5. He sought treatment at a local health facility after being sick for more than a week at home. The man was admitted to an Ebola treatment center on April 21 for intensive care but died later that day, the WHO said.
Health workers recognized the symptoms of Ebola and “immediately” submitted samples for testing, WHO said. “Efforts to stem the current outbreak are already underway,” the organization said, and vaccinations will start in the coming days.
“Many people in Mbandaka are already vaccinated against Ebola, which should help reduce the impact of the disease,” said Moeti. “All those who were vaccinated during the 2020 outbreak will be revaccinated.”
“Ebola is a severe, often fatal illness affecting humans and other primates,” the WHO added. Case fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks but effective treatment is available and if patients receive it early on, their chances of survival “improve significantly,” it said.
The DRC’s equatorial forests have been a hotbed of the Central African country’s Ebola crisis, with more than 2,000 people killed by the disease between 2018 and 2020.
The DRC has had more Ebola outbreaks than any other country since the virus was first discovered near the Ebola River in the DRC’s northern region in 1976.