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WHO 'concerned' as DRC Ebola cases rise

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WHO 'concerned' as DRC Ebola cases rise

2nd July 2020

By: News24Wire

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The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has recorded 30 cases of Ebola and the death toll has risen to 13, reported the World Health Organization (WHO).

The agency said 33 cases, including 30 confirmed and three probable, were reported in Mbandaka, the capital of Equateur Province. Last month, the WHO expressed concern about the 11th Ebola outbreak in the country’s west.

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“We are very concerned about this new outbreak in Mbandaka, where we have worked very closely with the government in 2018 to contain the last outbreak,” said WHO regional director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti.

Last month the government of the DRC announced that the 23-month-long Ebola outbreak in the east of the country had ended.

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But the UN Children's Fund (Unicef) warned that increased efforts should continue in response to a new outbreak in the north-western province of Equateur.

The Ebola outbreak in eastern DRC began in August 2018 and was the world’s second deadliest after the 2014–2016 outbreak in West Africa and the first in an active conflict zone, killing about 2 287 people and infecting 3 470. 

Ebola resurfaced in Equateur on June 1. Genetic sequencing has shown that the outbreak is not linked to the one in the east or to the 2018 Equateur outbreak, Unicef said.

Ebola, a tropical fever that first appeared in 1976 in Sudan and the DRC, is transmitted from wild animals to humans, according to the WHO. It can also spread through contact with body fluids of infected people or of those who have succumbed to the virus.

Ebola caused global alarm in 2014 when the world's worst outbreak began in West Africa, killing more than 11 300 people and infecting an estimated 28 600 as it swept through Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

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