Monday 16 September 2019

Ebola outbreak spreads to new province in DR Congo

The outbreak in the east of the DRC has killed 1,808 people out of 2,765 confirmed cases.

Health workers wearing protective gear check on a patient isolated in a plastic cube at an Ebola treatment centre in Beni (Jerome Delay/AP)
Health workers wearing protective gear check on a patient isolated in a plastic cube at an Ebola treatment centre in Beni (Jerome Delay/AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s year-long Ebola outbreak has spread to a new province with a woman dying and her baby falling ill in South Kivu, the government’s health ministry said.

Two new patients have tested positive in the Mwenga area of South Kivu, adding to North Kivu and Ituri provinces where there are confirmed cases of the disease.

The Ebola outbreak in the east of the DRC has killed 1,808 people out of 2,765 confirmed cases, according to the new report.

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Esperance Nabintu and her one-year-old son were among the lucky ones to be successfully treated after suffering from Ebola (Justin Katumwa/AP)

The outbreak, which started on August 1 last year, is the second largest in history.

The spread of confirmed cases to a third province shows that health workers have struggled to contain the outbreak, despite the use of a vaccine.

Many people in eastern DRC do not trust doctors and other medics.

The new cases are a 24-year-old woman and her seven-month-old baby, said Dr Jean-Jacques Muyembe, the director of DR Congo’s National Institute for Biomedical Research.

The mother and her child had visited Beni, in North Kivu province, which is the centre of the outbreak.

They returned to South Kivu province where they fell sick with Ebola. The mother died on Thursday and her baby is being treated by a response team.

PA Media

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