New Ebola outbreak in Beni, DRC
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has reported a confirmed death of Ebola virus disease in the Beni health zone, North Kivu province. This comes barely five months after the end of the most recent outbreak that was detected in the same province.
The index case is a 3-year-old male, child who died on 6 October in a local health facility after presenting with haemorrhagic symptoms. Samples collected, tested positive for Ebola virus at the Goma reference laboratory.
“We see this with great concern as we are going to fight against multiple disease outbreaks in DRC, including, cholera, monkey pox, yellow fever, meningitis and EVD, on top of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic” said Dr John Nkengasong, the Director of Africa CDC.
Health teams decontaminated the affected health facility and 100 contacts have so far been identified. The provincial and zonal rapid response team have deployed to the affected area to conduct active case finding and identify additional contacts.
In response to this new Ebola case, the African Union Commission (AUC) has been informed of the outbreak and is ready to offer a comprehensive support of all AU organs. The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) has repurposed five of the existing Africa CDC emergency response team of experts in Goma and Kinshasa to support the ongoing EVD response effort of the Government; and is working on deployment of additional technical assistance from the Headquarter.
It is not unusual for sporadic cases to occur following a major outbreak, health experts say. Particles of the virus can remain present in semen for months after recovery from an infection.
The disease typically kills about half of those it infects although treatments developed since the record 2014-2016 outbreak in West Africa have significantly reduced death rates when cases are detected early.