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Ebola outbreak heightens in DRC, with over 1 700 deaths recorded

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The current Ebola outbreak in the DRC has lingered for 11 months with 2 532 confirmed cases and 1705 deaths, Director of the Africa Center for Disease Control (CDC) has said.

Briefing journalists on Friday, 19 July 2019, Africa CDC of the African Union said Dr John Nkengasong said the outbreak has been limited mainly to north Kivu and Ituri provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and one case was recently reported in Goma, a city about two million people and 2 km from the nearest city of Rwanda.

On Wednesday, 17 July 2019, the WHO declared the current Ebola outbreak in the DRC as a public health emergency of international concern, the same day that ten new cases were confirmed in Beni, Butembo, Mandima, vuhovi and Mutwanga health zones.

“Interestingly, 704 of the confirmed cases have been cured, which tells us that being infected with Ebola is not a death sentences, there is a cure,” Nkengasong said

“By declaring the current Ebola outbreak as an international concern, the AU member states do not impose any travel restriction to any one entering to or going out from the DRC,” he added.

The AU member states in 2005 signed a binding document not to impose travel restrictions which is contrary to the international health regulations.

The African CDC has so far deployed 41 experts, trained 800 local health workers and supported the construction of 3000 laboratories where the testing for Ebola are being conducted in the DRC.

According to director, more African voluntary health corps members will be deployed in the DRC by the African Union, Africa CDC will provide additional medical equipment and supplies, strengthen cross border surveillance and laboratory system and further enhance communication about Ebola in the DRC and neighbouring countries.

The current Ebola outbreak in the DRC is referred to as the second largest in the history of the disease in African continent.



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