The Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of Congo reported a new death caused by the Ebola virus following the declared Ebola outbreak in the north-west of the country, bringing the total number of deaths to 27, of which only 13 have been Ebola-confirmed.
In the three areas of affected by the outbreak of the viral disease, the rural areas of Bikoro and Iboko, and the urban area of Mbandaka, 58 cases have been registered as of Tuesday, of which 37 have been confirmed, 14 are probable, and 7 are suspected.
The vaccination campaign against Ebola is still underway in Congo
The Ministry of Health, together with the World Health Organization (WHO), Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), and other international organizations, have been carrying out a vaccination campaign in the three areas for the past two weeks, and about 1,400 people have already been vaccinated.
The Ebola vaccine used is the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine, an experimental treatment that was first tested after the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak in Guinea, and the participation in the vaccination campaign is voluntary.
However, the Congolese government is considering other experimental treatments that it is evaluating for use.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) called for respect for patients’ human rights, such as freedom of movement, and for restrictions on the use of quarantine and protection of the health of medical personnel.
This is the ninth Ebola outbreak in Congo since 1976
This Ebola outbreak, initially located in the rural areas of the northwest and later reaching the urban area of Mbandaka, is the ninth to strike the Democratic Republic of Congo since the discovery of the virus in 1976 in the country.
The disease, which is transmitted by direct contact with the blood and body fluids of infected people or animals, causes severe bleeding and can have a mortality rate of 90%.
The worst known Ebola outbreak has occurred in March 2014, in Guinea, from where it spread to Sierra Leone and Liberia. WHO marked the end of the epidemic in January 2016, after 11,300 deaths and more than 28,500 Ebola-confirmed cases.