KINSHASA MAY 23, 2017 (CISA) – A fourth person has died in an Ebola virus outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a spokesman from the World Health Organization (WHO) said on May 23.
Since the WHO declared the outbreak on May 12 in north-eastern Bas-Uele province, 37 suspected cases are being monitored, WHO’s Congo spokesman Eugene Kabambi said.
Of the 37 cases of hemorrhagic fever, two have been confirmed as Ebola, three are considered probable and 32 are suspected. Of these suspected cases, two were confirmed in the laboratory and three were regarded as probable Ebola cases, said Kabambi.
According to WHO, community health agents are monitoring 416 people who may have come into contact with those killed by the virus and have dispatched mobile laboratories to the zone to more quickly test people who display symptoms.
“People who were in contact with the first case reported on April 22 came out unscathed after the 21 days of observation,’’ Kabambi said.
In a situation report rereleased on May 21, WHO evaluates the risk of the current outbreak as being high at the national level due to the known impact of Ebola outbreaks, remoteness of the affected area, and limited access to health care including suboptimal surveillance.
The risk at the regional level on the other hand is moderate due to the proximity of international borders and the recent influx of refugees from Central African Republic, read the report.
However the risk is low at global level due to the remoteness and inaccessibility of the area to major international ports, and consequently, “WHO advises against the application of any travel or trade restrictions on the Democratic Republic of the Congo based on the currently available information.”
DRC has suffered seven previous outbreaks of Ebola since the virus was discovered in the country in 1976. The last outbreak, in 2014, left 49 people dead.
West Africa was worst affected during 2014, with the haemorrhagic fever claiming more than 11,000 lives, most of those in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.