Published: Wed, August 08, 2018
Medical | By

Congo's health ministry confirms 3 more cases of Ebola

Congo's health ministry confirms 3 more cases of Ebola

A nurse working with the World Health Organization (WHO) shows a bottle containing Ebola vaccine.

A total of 43 cases of Ebola haemorrhagic fever, 13 of which have been confirmed, have been recorded since the beginning of the new epidemic in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo declared on 1 August, according to a report published on Saturday by Congo's Ministry of Health.

There are 33 additional "suspected cases" in the North Kivu outbreak that are pending lab test results to "confirm or exclude Ebola virus disease", according to WHO.

"Twelve teams of vaccinators will be deployed in different affected areas", the ministry said, adding that teams had arrived in Beni.

About 900 contacts of confirmed or suspect cases have been identified for monitoring, World Health Organization spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said.

That outbreak more than 2,500 kilometres away had 33 confirmed Ebola deaths.

There were three new cases confirmed and four new deaths, as of Monday, it said. More than 3,000 doses remain in stock in the capital Kinshasa, allowing authorities to deploy them quickly to affected areas near the Ugandan border.

Nearly 1000 people who have had "contact" with the virus have been registered in health zones under surveillance, it said.

Health experts in the city closest to the new outbreak, Beni, have been setting up "cold chains" to keep the vaccines at the optimal temperature of minus 70 degrees Celsius, a challenge in a region with hot temperatures and unreliable power supplies.

There is no specific treatment, and the virus can be fatal in up to 90 percent of cases, depending on the strain.

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