Published: Fri, May 18, 2018
Health Care | By Alice Shelton

14 confirmed Ebola cases in DRC as emergency meeting held

14 confirmed Ebola cases in DRC as emergency meeting held

Currently, WHO said it considers the public health risk to be high at the national level, moderate at the regional level and low at the global level.

"One new case of Ebola virus disease has been confirmed in Wangata, one of the three health zones of Mbandaka, a city of almost 1.2 million people in Equateur Province in northwestern Democratic Republic of the Congo", the UN's health agency said in a statement.

The EU has been providing humanitarian assistance to the Democratic Republic of Congo since 1994. An initial €1.5 million will provide logistics support to the World Health Organization (WHO), and a further €130,000 offered to the International Federation of the Red Cross for life-saving interventions by the Congolese Red Cross.

But WHO advised against any restriction of travel and trade to the Democratic Republic of the Congo based on the now available information.

The updates come after Congo reported its first case in a major city.

The vaccine, from pharmaceutical firm Merck, is unlicensed but was effective in limited trials during the West Africa outbreak. More than 4 000 doses have arrived in DRC this week, with more on the way.

With the poor infrastructure and electricity supply in Congo, the only challenge that remains with the vaccine is that it has to store it in a cold temperature.

It said there has been one new death in Bikoro, where the Ebola outbreak was announced last week and where the first death took place.

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A total of 45 cases of Ebola have now been reported in Congo in this outbreak: 14 confirmed, 21 probable and 10 suspected, the ministry said, after results from lab tests returned Thursday.

The health ministry said two new deaths have been tied to the cases, including one in a suburb of Mbandaka.

The latest case is raising fears that in spite of a rapid response by authorities, the outbreak has not been contained. It is about 150km from Mbandaka.

Cases emerged in a rural area with one now confirmed in the city of Mbandaka.

The Commission noted that the allocated funding would "ensure deployment of relevant surge capacity to the affected areas, surveillance and contact tracing of Ebola victims as well as active case finding for early detection of those infected".

This is the ninth outbreak, since the discovery of the Ebola virus in the country in 1976.

Ebola is thought to be spread over long distances by fruit bats and is often transmitted to humans eating contaminated bushmeat - meat from wild animals such as monkeys or antelopes.

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