Ebola strikes Congo again! WHO to send response team to monitor second outbreak; details

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Published: June 2, 2020 2:32 PM

The Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) recently confirmed that the deadly virus Ebola has returned to the country in Mbandaka, the capital of Équateur Province.

It is to note that it is the 11th outbreak of Ebola virus since it first came to existence in 1976.

Ebola hits Congo amid COVID-19 outbreak! The Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) recently confirmed that the deadly virus Ebola has returned to the country in Mbandaka, the capital of Équateur Province. The government has confirmed the death of five people which also includes a 15-year old girl. It is to note that the deaths occurred between May 18 and May 30, it wasnt until May 31, they were linked to Ebola cases. Four contacts of the deceased have also contracted Ebola virus and are being treated for it.

Discussing the 11th Ebola outbreak in Congo, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General at the World Health Organisation has said that Coronavirus is not the only threat humans are facing right now. While the majority of attention is still on the Coronavirus pandemic, WHO is trying to monitor and tackle other health emergencies also, he added. Further, WHO will be sending a response team to Congo as it is crucial to curb it in the early stages given the vulnerability of health situations across the world.

Apart from WHO, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is also working with the government of DRC to help fight the Ebola epidemic. According to a statement by UNICEF DRC Representative Edouard Beigbeder, the organisation will be providing some essential equipment, water and sanitation services, support affected children and deploy community mobilizers as well.

Edouard Beigbeder added that the ongoing Ebola outbreak in Eastern DRC, children are more prone to be impacted by the virus and therefore, UNICEF wants to ensure that the infection is prevented among children. By tomorrow, 36 staff will be deployed that will lend a helping hand to the government, NGOs, and other workers assisting the infected Ebola patients, UNICEF said in a statement. It will also ensure good hygiene and behavioural practises so that the transmission of this disease can be prevented.

It is to note that it is the 11th outbreak of Ebola virus since it first came to existence in 1976. According to UNICEF, the resurfacing of Ebola has emerged at a time when the DRC was “approaching the end of its outbreak in the eastern part of the country.” The statistics show that more than 2,100 people have been killed in the last outbreak and infected 3,317. Ebola virus mortality rate can go as high as 60 per cent and 78 per cent in cases of children. Last year too, a short outbreak in May to July. Meanwhile, the country is also battling with Coronavirus and has confirmed more than 3,000 cases.

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