New Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Democratic Republic of Congo announces new Ebola outbreak (Photo: Evening Standard)

BUZZ Fam, there’s a new Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo. With everything that’s happened since the start of 2020, you’d think this new month would give us a break right? Nope.

The announcement was made by the government today (June 1). It said a new outbreak of Ebola virus disease is occurring in Wangata health zone, Mbandaka, in Équateur province.

The Ministry of Health said six Ebola cases have so far been detected in Wangata, of which four have died and two are alive and under care. Three of these six cases have been confirmed with laboratory testing. It is likely more people will be identified with the disease as surveillance activities increase.

DR Congo announces fresh Ebola outbreak in country's northwest ...
This is DR Congo’s 11th Ebola outbreak (Photo: Al Jazeera)

This news comes as Eastern Congo is dealing with its final phase of a long, difficult and complex Ebola outbreak, and the rest of the country battles the COVID-19 outbreak, and the world’s largest measles outbreak.

This is the country’s 11th Ebola outbreak since the virus was first discovered in 1976.

The news is especially sad because the Health Ministry has just started a 42-day countdown to the declaration of the end of an Ebola outbreak in North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri provinces.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says it is currently on the ground in Mbandaka providing support to the government’s response.

2014 Ebola Outbreak Deadliest in History
WHO says its on the ground providing support (Photo: NBC News)

“WHO has worked over the last two years with health authorities, Africa CDC and other partners to strengthen national capacity to respond to outbreaks,” Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa said.

“To reinforce local leadership, WHO plans to send a team to support scaling up the response. Given the proximity of this new outbreak to busy transport routes and vulnerable neighbouring countries we must act quickly.” he said.