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Friday 16 November 2018

Ebola deaths rise to 26, DR Congo health ministry says

Four new cases have been confirmed as Ebola, said the health ministry in a statement released early on Sunday.

A health care worker wears virus protective gear at a treatment centre in Bikoro (John Bompengo/AP)
A health care worker wears virus protective gear at a treatment centre in Bikoro (John Bompengo/AP)

By Saleh Mwanamilongo, Associated Press

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s health ministry says there has been another new death from Ebola, bringing to 26 the number of deaths from the outbreak in the African nation’s Equateur province.

Four new cases have been confirmed as Ebola, said the health ministry in a statement released early on Sunday.

A total of 46 cases of hemorrhagic fever have been reported in the current outbreak, including 21 confirmed cases of Ebola, 21 probable and four suspected.

DR Congo President Joseph Kabila and his Cabinet agreed on Saturday to increase funds for the Ebola emergency response which now amounts to more than $4 million (£3 million).

The Cabinet endorsed the decision to provide free health care in the affected areas and to provide special care to all Ebola victims and their relatives.

The spread of Ebola from a rural area to Mbandaka, a city of more than one million people, has raised alarm as the deadly disease can spread more quickly in densely populated urban centres.

The World Health Organisation has decided not to declare the outbreak a global health emergency, but it called the risk of spread within DR Congo “very high” and warned nine neighbouring countries that the risk to them was high.

WHO said there should be no restrictions to international travel or trade.

A new experimental Ebola vaccine will be used to try to contain the outbreak. The vaccine is still in the test stages, but it was effective in the West Africa outbreak a few years ago.

Vaccinations are expected to start early in the week, with more than 4,000 doses already in DR Congo and more on the way.

Press Association

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