Published: Sat, May 13, 2017
Medicine | By Rogelio Lindsey

One dead, nine more suspected cases in northern Congo Ebola outbreak


In 2014, more than 11,300 people were killed in the worst-ever outbreak of the virus in West Africa, majority in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. To date there have been nine suspected cases, three of whom have died.

In a statement, the DRC's health ministry said: "Our country must confront an outbreak of the Ebola virus that constitutes a public health crisis of worldwide significance". Confirmation was made by the National Biomedical Research Institute (INRB) and announced by Dr. Oly Ilunga Kalenga, Minister of Public Health of the DRC.

The epidemic, which is now small, is in Bas-Uele province, near the northern border with the Central African Republic.

The WHO says it is taking the situation "very seriously" following the deaths in a remote forest.

"Our country must confront an outbreak of the Ebola virus that constitutes a public health crisis of worldwide significance", the ministry said. "We always take this very seriously", said World Health Organization spokesman Eric Kabambi.

The 2013-2016 West African Ebola outbreak, which resulted in more than 11 300 deaths, highlighted the need for a vaccine.

The Bas-Uele Province, with a population of 900,000 in 2007, is mostly inhabited by people of the Boa tribe, who live mainly through subsistence farming and hunting and conduct some of their trade by way of the Uele river.

But since that epidemic, the world has also gained a new weapon against the disease, holstered in anticipation of another outbreak: a new vaccine called rVSV-ZEBOV.

In June past year, World Health Organization declared Liberia free of active Ebola virus transmission.

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