Congo announces 1st death amid Ebola outbreak

Posted May 12, 2018

According to Reuters, the main hospital in Bikoro has received a new suspected Ebola case with the hospital's director confirming that on Friday.

DRC's health minister on Thursday announced the first death since the outbreak was declared early this week, though the hemorrhagic fever blamed for the death has not been confirmed as Ebola. A team from the Ministry of Health, supported by WHO and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) visited the Ikoko-Impenge Health Area on 5 May 2018 and detected five active cases, two of whom were admitted to Bikoro General Hospital and three who were admitted in the health centre in Ikoko-Impenge.

The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission, either through direct contact with bodily fluids such as blood or secretions or contact with materials that are contaminated with these liquids.

"It is utterly unconscionable that Republicans are insisting on brutally tight budgets for the communities who need it the most, while handing enormous giveaways to corporations and the wealthiest 1 percent", she said.

In a press conference given in Geneva on Friday, Peter Salama, head of the WHO's emergency response, told reporters the worldwide health organization is taking the newest outbreak of this Ebola virus very seriously.

"The problem here is that we already have three separate locations that are reporting cases that cover as much as 60km and maybe more", Salama with World Health Organization said. The last Ebola outbreak in RC Congo broke out in 2017 but was quickly contained due to timely alert and joint efforts by the government, WHO, and other global partners.

The World Health Organisation says it is preparing for "the worst case scenario" in a fresh outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

At least 17 people are feared to have died from the virus in the new outbreak.

"We are very concerned and planning for all scenarios, including the worst case scenario", Peter Salama, WHO's Deputy Director-General of Emergency Preparedness and Response, told a regular United Nations briefing in Geneva.

Democratic Republic of Congo's health ministry said it had dispatched a team of 12 experts to the northwest to try to trace new contacts of the disease, identify the epicentre and all affected villages and provide resources.

"We are. planning for all scenarios, including the worst-case scenario".

But, since the 2014-16 outbreak, other countries have had Ebola outbreaks, which many people may not have heard about.

Nine countries surrounding the Congo include Angola, Zambia, Tanzaia, Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, the Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi.