The government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo announced today that there was a new Ebola virus outbreak in the Northwest Congo. The disease is occurring in the Wagata health zone, Mbandaka, in Équateur province.
The announcement of the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus came as a long, complex, and critical issue in its final phase, for a country that is battling the COVID-19 pandemic and the world’s largest measles outbreak.
The last time an Ebola virus case was reported was nearly two years ago. Less than two months ago, Congo was about to declare an official end to the Ebola epidemic on the eastern side of the country that had lasted for more than a year and killed more than 2,275 people. Then came the news which was like a huge blow to the country; with just two days to go, a new case was found, and the outbreak could not be declared over. But officials say it is in its final stages.
The infections were identified in the western city of Mbandaka in Equateur province. However, it is unclear how Ebola emerged after nearly two years, in Mbandaka, which is approximately 750 miles west of the nearly-vanquished outbreak on the eastern edge of the country. Congo is the largest country in sub- Saharan Africa and has been under travel restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
The UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund) confirmed that a total of nine cases have been reported so far. ‘Five of them including a 15-year-old girl, have died of Ebola in a fresh outbreak of the virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo’ the United Nations Children’s Fund said.
“Four additional people who contracted the virus – all contacts of the deceased and including the child of one of the fatal cases – are being treated in an isolation unit at the Wangata hospital in Mbandaka”. “The deaths occurred between the 18th and 30th of May but they were only confirmed as Ebola-related yesterday,” UNICEF said in a sentence.
There gavel been many outbreaks of Ebola in Congo over many years, and most have been relatively quick. The travel restrictions imposed by the Congo government for preventing the spread of coronavirus will also help to limit the spread of Ebola from Mbandaka.
On the 14th of May 2020, the Ministry of Health began the 42-day-countdown to the declaration of the end of that outbreak. However, according to the WHO (World Health Organisation), new outbreaks of Ebola are expected in the Democratic Republic of the Congo given the existence of the virus in an animal reservoir in many parts of the world.