4 June 2018

Congo-Kinshasa: Five New Suspected Ebola Cases Reported

Photo: RFI/Sébastien Nemeth
An Ebola must go bill board

The French news agency AFP is reporting five new suspected cases of the deadly Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

AFP reported Saturday that DRC health authorities had recorded two new cases of illness in the Wangata area and three new cases in Bikoro. Both areas are in the northwest Equateur province.

A new Ebola virus outbreak was declared in DRC on May 8 in Bikoro. Since then, about 50 cases of infection have been reported, with 25 of them leading to death.

This is the most serious outbreak of Ebola virus since a massive outbreak in western Africa that ended in 2016 after infecting more than 28,600 people.

On May 30, the World Health Organization said there had been 37 confirmed cases and 13 probable cases in DRC since the start of this outbreak. The fast-acting virus has killed about half its victims in the current outbreak.

Meanwhile, the WHO has been involved in an effort to create a vaccine against the Ebola virus, which has broken out nine times in DRC since its discovery in the 1970s.

On Friday, Peter Salama, the head of emergency response for the WHO, told VOA that teams had vaccinated about 500 people who had contact with Ebola cases discovered recently in Equateur's capital, Mbandaka.

So far, he said, it appears that the highly contagious virus has not spread in the city.

VOA's Jackson Mvunganyi and Kate Pound Dawson contributed to this report.

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