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New Ebola Virus Case Confirmed in Africa

MAY 12, 2017 | CONTAGION EDITORIAL STAFF
The World Health Organization (WHO) sent the world into a tailspin early Friday afternoon when it tweeted out that the organization has been notified by the Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that they have a lab-confirmed case of Ebola in the Central African Country.
 
The outbreak has been identified in the Likati health district (Aketi, Bas-Uélé province). Confirmation was made by the National Biomedical Research Institute (INRB) and announced by Dr. Oly Ilunga Kalenga, Minister of Public Health of the DRC. According to the official WHO announcement on the case, Dr. Kalenda stated, ‘‘Of the five blood specimens taken from suspected cases and analyzed at INRB, one has tested positive for Ebola virus (Zaïre serotype) using real-time polymerase chain reaction.’’ As a result, the DRC is requesting support from WHO to respond to this outbreak.

According to WHO, 9 suspected cases of Ebola have been reported in the Likati district since April 22, 2017, and 3 deaths are said to be attributed to the virus. A WHO representative in the DRC is quoted as saying, “The WHO Country Office in the DRC is working closely with the national and provincial authorities and with the WHO Regional Office for Africa, WHO headquarters in Geneva and all other partners to facilitate deployment of health workers and protective kits in the field to strengthen epidemiological surveillance and rapidly control the epidemic.”

WHO’s Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, is set to arrive in the country this weekend to ensure that the DRC has all the necessary assistance to respond to this emergency.

Contagion® will continue to provide more information as the situation unfolds.
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