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Ebola resurfaces in DR Congo as country fights coronavirus

Ebola virus returns to haunt people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) as the country struggles to fight the spread of coronavirus.

World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed a new case of Ebola virus disease in the city of Beni in the DRC.

“While not welcome news, this is an event we anticipated. We kept response teams in Beni and other high risk areas for precisely this reason,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.

As part of the active Ebola surveillance system in place to respond to this ongoing outbreak in DRC, thousands of alerts are still being investigated every day. An alert is a person who has symptoms that could be due to Ebola, or any death in a high risk area that could have been as result of Ebola.

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WHO said they were making efforts to trace all the people who may have been in contact with the infected person in order to offer them the vaccine and monitor their health status.

“WHO has worked side by side with health responders from the DRC for over 18 months and our teams are right now supporting the investigation into this latest case,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “Although the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic adds challenges, we will continue this joint effort until we can declare the end of this Ebola outbreak together.”

Prior to the latest case, the last confirmed case of Ebola infection in DRC tested negative twice and was discharged from a treatment centre on 3 March 2020.

A total of 3456 confirmed and probable cases and 2276 deaths have occurred as a result of the outbreak as of 10 April 2020, WHO said.

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