The infected patient was a 31-year-old man who started showing symptoms on April 5 and after more than a week of home caresought treatment at a local health facility.
On April 21, he was admitted to an Ebola treatment center for intensive care, but died later that day. After recognizing the symptoms, health professionals immediately submitted samples to test for Ebola virus disease, the WHO explained.
So far, only one case has been confirmed and investigations to determine the source of the outbreak are underway.
The fourteenth outbreak in the country
“Time is not on our side,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “The disease has had a two-week head start and we are now catching up. The good news is that health authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo have more experience than anyone else in the world to quickly bring Ebola outbreaks under control,” he added.
There have been fourteenth Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo since 1976. The new outbreak is the sixth since 2018 — the most common event in the country’s Ebola history, according to the UN health agency.
Previous outbreaks in Equateur province were in 2020 and 2018, with 130 and 54 cases recorded respectively.
Neighborhood vaccination starts
The WHO has said the deceased patient has been given a safe and dignified burial, meaning traditional burial ceremonies are being modified to minimize the risk of infectious fluids contaminating those present.
Health authorities are also looking for contacts to check their health and disinfect the health facility where the patient was treated.
Moreover, plans to kick off the vaccination in the next few days are in the making with stocks of the rVSV-ZEBOV Ebola vaccine already available in the cities of Goma and Kinshasa.
“Vaccinations will be sent to Mbandaka and delivered through a ring vaccination strategy – in which contacts and contacts of contacts are vaccinated to contain the spread of the virus and protect lives,” the WHO stressed.
“Many people in Mbandaka have already been vaccinated against Ebola, which should help reduce the impact of the disease,” added Dr. Gotta get it. “All those vaccinated during the 2020 outbreak will be revaccinated.”
Ebola is a serious, often fatal disease that affects humans and other primates. Case death rates ranged from 25% to 90% in previous outbreaks.