Technical experts on Ebola are deployed to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as part of a coordinated response to a new outbreak of the deadly virus.
The World Health Organization (WHO)’s Regional Director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti says the health agency has already mobilized teams to provide the technical expertise and leadership required to mount a coordinated and effective response.
The teams are conducting extensive investigation and risk assessment in order to provide additional support to the community. The task includes epidemiological surveillance, contact tracing, case management, and community engagement.
Moeti visited the capital Kinshasa on Saturday to discuss with national authorities and partners ways to mount a rapid, effective and coherent response in order to stop the ongoing outbreak. As of Saturday, 11 suspected cases of the disease had been reported, in the remote northern Likati health district of DRC. Three people have died so far but the full extent of the outbreak is not yet clear
“The health zone is situated in the remote, isolated and hard-to-reach northern part of the country, with limited transport and communication networks – factors that all impeded transmission of information about the suspected outbreak,” WHO said in a press release.
In the meantime, WHO is recommending that travel and trade are not restricted with the DRC, based on information currently available.
This is the eighth outbreak of Ebola virus since it was discovered in the DRC in 1976.