Ebola Outbreak: Democratic Republic of Congo Reports 2 New Deaths

Just months removed after its last outbreak, the country is seeing the emergence of another outbreak.

Just months removed from the country’s worst outbreak, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is reporting a second death from Ebola.

The case involved a woman living in Biena Health Zone. The patient received outpatient care for a nosebleed from a health center from January 25. She was treated at a second health center while her condition deteriorated quickly. She began experiencing physical weakness, dizziness, joint pain, epigastric pain, liquid stools, headache and difficulty breathing. On February 3, she was admitted to a hospital and placed into its intensive care unit. She died the next day.

On February 6, a laboratory confirmed the Ebola diagnosis. To date the source of infection is still under investigation.

As of earlier this week, a total of 117 contacts has been identified and are under follow up. Investigations and response activities are ongoing.

Samples were sent to the Institut de Recherche Biomedicale for next generation sequencing in order to determine whether this recent Ebola case is linked to a new spill over event or to a resurgence of the outbreak that affected North Kivu, Ituri and South Kivu Provinces in 2018-2020.

On February 7, the Minister of Health of the DRC declared an outbreak of Ebola after the laboratory confirmation of one case in North Kivu Province.

There are enough therapeutics available for up to 400 patients in the DRC.

Preliminary information indicates that the patient visited at least three health facilities in two health zones and was unsafely buried in a third health zone. There is therefore a risk of Ebola spreading to other health zones. The World Health Organization is closely monitoring the situation and the risk assessment will be updated as more information becomes available.

Last year, the country had a massive outbreak that killed over 2000 people.