Sunday 21 October 2018
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3 months ago

Congo declares new Ebola outbreak in eastern province

GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo - 2 August 2018: Four people have tested positive for Ebola in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo just days after another outbreak that killed 33 people in the northwest was declared over, the health ministry said on Wednesday.

Twenty people have already died from haemorrhagic fevers in and around Mangina, a densely populated town about 30 km (18 miles) southwest of the city of Beni and 100 km from the Ugandan border, the ministry said in its statement, without saying when the deaths occurred.

A team of 12 experts from Congo s health ministry will arrive in Beni on Thursday to set up a mobile lab, the ministry said. The World Health Organization has started moving staff and supplies to the area, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

They head to a region where deep security problems could complicate efforts to contain the virus. About 1,000 civilians have been killed by armed groups and government soldiers around Beni since 2014, and the wider region of North Kivu holds over 1 million displaced people.

This is an active conflict zone. The major barrier will be safely accessing the affected population, Peter Salama, WHO Deputy Director-General of emergency preparedness and response, said in a statement.

Jeremy Konyndyk, an aid expert at the Center for Global Development, said other recent Ebola outbreaks had fortunately been in relatively safe and stable areas.

North Kivu is a different story, which makes me a little nervous, he said.

The area also has strong trade with neighbouring Rwanda and Uganda, raising the risk of the virus moving internationally.

Julie Hall, chief of staff at the International Federation of the Red Cross, said the Ebola response in North Kivu would be a highly complex operation.

The ministry said no evidence linked this outbreak with the last one, which began in April and occurred over 2,500 km (1,553 miles) away in northwester

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