A new Ebola outbreak has been reported in the Republic of Congo after few days of celebrating the end of a potentially explosive Ebola outbreak in the country.
On 4 August, 4 days after the official declaration of the new outbreak, a DRC Ministry of Public Health report tallied 13 confirmed Ebola cases, 30 probable cases, 33 suspected cases, 33 related deaths, and 879 contacts. Initial analysis of the virus shows that it’s the Ebola Zaire species, one of four that cause disease in humans. Although that’s the same one that spread in Équateur, there’s no evidence of a link between the two outbreaks.
The World Health Organization has warned that this new outbreak of the deadly virus in North Kivu province poses a particular challenge as the region is a “war zone” with several active armed groups and thousands of displaced people.
The WHO emergencies director has also said that the 3,000 vaccine doses which was used on more than 3,300 people helped in containing the previous outbreak, are still in Congo’s capital after being positioned there for the earlier outbreak. WHO can mobilize up to 300,000 more doses “at very short notice,” Dr. Peter Salama said Friday. Congo’s health ministry said vaccines would be moved from Kinshasa to Beni as soon as the “cold chain” to keep them at the optimal temperature of minus 70 degrees Celsius is reached.