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Ebola Virus hits Democratic Republic of the Congo

Photo courtesy of United Nations

As if the COVID-19 pandemic was not enough, a new outbreak of Ebola virus disease has occurred in Democratic Republic of the Congo. According the government, it is occurring in Wangata health zone, Mbandaka, in Équateur province. On top of this, the country is also battling the world’s largest measles outbreak. This is the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s 11th outbreak of Ebola since the virus was first discovered in the country in 1976.

WHO is already supporting the outbreak response in Mbandaka, through the collection and testing of samples, reference to the national laboratory for confirmation, and contact tracing. WHO is also working to ensure that essential health services are provided to communities despite these emergency events.

"This is a reminder that COVID-19 is not the only health threat people face," said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. "Although much of our attention is on the (COVID-19) pandemic, WHO is continuing to monitor and respond to many other health emergencies".

Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa added, "It’s happening at a challenging time, but WHO has worked over the last two years with health authorities, Africa CDC and other partners to strengthen national capacity to respond to outbreaks".

The Government of Democratic Republic of the Congo shared that six Ebola cases have 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 Ebola as surveillance activities increase.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health and to lead partners in global health responses


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