Democratic Republic of Congo declares Ebola outbreak after two confirmed cases

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Laboratory confirmation of two cases of Ebola in Bikoro, a lakeside market town in the northwestern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo has prompted government health officials there to declare an outbreak of the virus, the World Health Organization announced today.

WHO, Médecins Sans Frontières, and provincial health officials have sent teams to the area to investigate and coordinate Ebola detection, treatment, tracking and control of cases after test results confirmed the virus in two of five samples submitted, according to the WHO announcement.

The last outbreak of Ebola in the DRC occurred in 2017, and was declared over in a little more than a month, following a response that incorporated the efforts of local, national and international experts, as well as ready access to funds established following the 2013-to-2016 Ebola crisis in West Africa. This is the ninth reported outbreak of the virus in the DRC, which, then known as Zaire, experienced the first recorded outbreak of Ebola in 1976.

WHO has released $1 million from its emergency fund to support responses and efforts to control the spread of the virus over the next three months, according to the announcement.

One thought on “Democratic Republic of Congo declares Ebola outbreak after two confirmed cases

  1. David Fedson

    The Ebola outbreak in the DRC provides WHO with another opportunity to study patient treatment with a combination of inexpensive generic drugs (a statin and an angiotensin receptor blocker). In late 2014, this combination was used to treat Ebola patients in Sierra Leone and it led to a led to “remarkable improvement ” in survival (mBio 2015;6:e00716-15). This treatment targets the host response to infection, although it has antiviral effects as well. WHO was opposed to using these drugs during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Has it learned anything since then?

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