WHO concerned by ebola case in urban area of the Congo

18 May 2018

WHO concerned by ebola case in urban area of the Congo

A new case of the ebola virus disease has been confirmed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a press release on Thursday.

The Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo announced that laboratory tests conducted by the National Institute of Biomedical Research confirmed one specimen as positive for the disease.

The case occurred in Wangata, one of three health zones in the city of Mbandaka in the country’s northwest. The city is home to 1.2 million people, and the appearance of the ebola virus in an urban area has been met with concern.

Previously, all confirmed cases of ebola were reported in the Bikoro health zone, some 150 km from Mbandaka.

WHO Regional Director for Africa Dr Matshidiso Moeti said: “The arrival of Ebola in an urban area is very concerning, and WHO and partners are working together to rapidly scale up the search for all contacts of the confirmed case in the Mbandaka area.”

Around 30 experts will be deployed to conduct surveillance in the city, as WHO works with the Ministry of Health to improve and educate on prevention, treatment, and reporting.

Doctors without Borders will also be working with WHO to strengthen the capacity of health facilities to treat ebola patients in special isolation wards.