The recurrence of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO).
One case was confirmed in the province of North Kivu in the country’s east, and on Monday, Congo made the declaration, according to a statement from the WHO.
An investigation into the death of a 46-year-old lady in the North Kivu town of Beni was opened on August 15, 2022.
She was treated at the Beni Referral Hospital for “other ailments,” according to the statement, but later “exhibited symptoms consistent with Ebola virus diseases.”
National Institute of Biomedical Research (INRB) laboratories in Beni and Goma confirmed the presence of Ebola virus in patient samples.
Genetic testing “established a link between the case and the longest and largest Ebola outbreak in the country, which has been raging in North Kivu and Ituri Provinces since 2018 and will continue through 2020.”
According to Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s regional director for Africa, Ebola resurgences in Congo have become more common recently.
“However, health authorities in North Kivu have successfully stopped several Ebola flare-ups, and building on this expertise will no doubt bring this one under control quickly,” she said.
The WHO has reported that its staff and health authorities in Congo are attempting to stop the spread of the disease by closely monitoring 160 contacts.
There is a confirmed case, and investigations are underway to find out if the patient was vaccinated.
The national stockpile of rVSV-ZEBOV Ebola vaccines contains 1,000 doses; this week, 200 doses will be shipped to Beni.
As a means of preventing the spread of the virus and saving lives, “ring-vaccination,” in which close contacts and those who have had contact with those infected, are vaccinated, is planned to launch soon.
Since 1976, 14 epidemics have occurred in the Congo, with the most recent one being declared on April 23. On July 4 the government declared the outbreak to be over.