The ministry of health in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on Tuesday, announced the confirmation of a new Ebola case, which it said was related to an earlier outbreak, in the city of Beni in the country’s east.
According to the ministry, testing by a lab at the National Institute for Biomedical Research in Goma determined the case was the Ebola Zaire strain and was genetically connected to the country’s 10th outbreak, which occurred in the provinces of Ituri and North Kivu from 2018 to 2020 and claimed more than 2,000 lives.
In one instance, a 46-year-old woman with Ebola symptoms was hospitalised in Beni late in July and passed away on August 15 as a result.
“Our team on site in Beni has carried out a dignified and secure burial and also decontaminated the hospital where the patient stayed,” the ministry said.
There are more than 130 high-risk contacts that have been identified, of which 71 have been treated. The others remain at large, the ministry said.
“We call on the population to calm down and to respect hygienic measures,” the ministry’s statement added.
Since the Ebola virus was found in the country’s violently divided territory in 1976, there have been 14 outbreaks of the disease.
Five persons were killed in the most recent outbreak, which occurred in another area of Equateur province from April to July.
Contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids or contaminated objects is how Ebola is spread. Fever and muscle aches, however, have similar early signs to other widespread illnesses like malaria.
In addition to vaccines, there is currently effective treatment that, if started early, can greatly increase survival rates.
The Allied Democratic Forces rebels, who have killed more than 2,000 people in the past year, are among the rebel organisations posing a threat to the region at the time of this most recent declaration in Beni.
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