The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Ministry of Health reported today (computer translated) that some 33 deaths are suspected linked to the latest Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in the country.

Ebola outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Image/DRC MOH
Ebola outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The suspect deaths are from Mabalako (25), Mambasa (5) and Beni (3).

In total, initial investigations by the surveillance teams reveal that community deaths (probable cases) as well as suspected and confirmed cases have appeared in seven health zones, including five in the North Kivu Province and two in the neighboring Ituri Province. This includes 13 confirmed EVD cases and 30 suspect.

DRC health officials say the case that alerted the provincial health authorities is that of a 65-year-old woman living in Mangina who had been hospitalized at the Mangina Reference Health Center (CSR) a few days before being discharged in mid-July. She died at home a few days later. After her unsecured burial, the family members who cared for her began to show the same symptoms and 7 of them died.

So far, 879 contacts have been registered by the health authorities.

Since the declaration of the epidemic on Wednesday, August 1, 2018, several rapid response teams from the Ministry of Health have been sent to the city of Beni and the health zone of Mangina, epicenter of the current epidemic of Ebola.

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The installation of a mobile laboratory in Beni will facilitate the testing of samples taken from suspected cases in the affected areas. Other mobile laboratories of the Ministry of Health are already operational in several cities in the provinces of North Kivu, Tshopo and Ituri, and they can also be used to test samples taken if necessary.

The first Ebola Treatment Centers (ETCs) will be located in Mangina, Beni and Goma. Other CTEs could be installed depending on the evolution of the epidemic.

Vaccination will be an integral part of the response. The Expanded Program on Immunization still has 3,220 doses of vaccine in stock in Kinshasa. The cold chain will be deployed in Beni this weekend. Once the optimal temperature of -70 degrees Celsius is reached, the vaccines will be sent to Beni.

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