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article imageWHO — Two more cases of Ebola virus identified in DR Congo

By Karen Graham     May 13, 2017 in Health
Kinshasa - In a statement dated May 13, the World Health Organization announced it is now investigating three Ebola cases in The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), with the first case possibly being the "index case."
The two additional suspected cases were identified after the Ebola outbreak was declared on May 12, according to Reuters. Government and WHO health care workers reached the remote area in Bas-Uele province in northeastern Congo, on the border with Central African Republic on Saturday.
The health teams will begin their field investigation with the hope of quickly identifying, testing, isolating, and treating any suspected cases. "The first case and possibly the index case, a 39-year-old male, presented onset of symptoms on 22 April 2017 and was deceased on arrival at the health facility," the WHO said in a statement.
Bas-Uele Province is in the reote northeast of the DR Congo.
Bas-Uele Province is in the reote northeast of the DR Congo.
Royal Museum for Central Africa
Bas-Uele province has a population of around 900,000 people, with most of the inhabitants belonging to the Baboa ethnic group. People in the province engage primarily in subsistence farming, hunting, and a little river commerce.
The affected region is about 1,300 kilometers (808 miles) from the Country's capital, Kinshasa. According to WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier, out of nine cases so far, three have died. "We need to take this very seriously," he added.
Al Jazeera quoted Lindmeier, "It's very important to find all the possible contacts of people who have been infected, who has been in contact, and see whether there is a possible continuation of infection and limit it as much as possible."
Health workers wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) stand at an Ebola treatment center run by...
Health workers wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) stand at an Ebola treatment center run by the non-governmental international organization Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders -- MSF) in Monrovia, Liberia, on October 27, 2014
Zoom Dosso, AFP
The WHO response as of Saturday
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health care workers was shipped on May 12 to Kisangani. More PPE kits are being prepared and will be shipped as soon as they are available. The national committee against viral hemorrhagic fever has been reactivated and will continue meeting every day to coordinate the response.
The Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) has also been activated to provide additional support if required. WHO will be providing assistance and technical support, and is considering sending an additional WHO multidisciplinary team to DRC to help in supporting the national authorities in this outbreak.
Who also states that at this time, "it does not recommend any restriction of travel and trade to DRC based on the currently available information."
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