Ebola strikes Congo again, WHO says Covid-19 not the only health threat
This is Congo’s 11th outbreak of Ebola since the virus was first discovered in the country in 1976.Updated: Jun 02, 2020 10:39 IST
The Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo announced on Monday that a new outbreak of Ebola virus disease is occurring in Wangata health zone in the Equateur province.
The country’s health ministry said that six Ebola cases have so far been detected in Wangata, of which four have died and two are alive and under care.
“This is a reminder that Covid-19 is not the only health threat people face,” World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. “Although much of our attention is on the pandemic, WHO is continuing to monitor and respond to many other health emergencies.”
Congo also has yet to declare an official end to Ebola in its troubled east, where at least 2,243 people have died since an epidemic began there in August 2018.
This is Congo’s 11th outbreak of Ebola since the virus was first discovered in the country in 1976.
The victims died on May 18 but test results confirming Ebola only came back over the weekend, according to Congolese Health Minister Dr Eteni Longondo. WHO said it already had teams on the ground.
Covid-19 already has touched seven of Congo’s 25 provinces, with more than 3,000 confirmed cases and 72 deaths. However, like many African countries Congo has conducted extremely limited testing, and observers fear the true toll may be far higher.
“This quadruple threat could prove lethal for millions of children and their families,” said Anne-Marie Connor, national director in Congo for the aid organization World Vision.
According to WHO, 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 country.