The case concerns a 46-year-old woman who died on 15 August in the city of Beni. She was treated at the Beni Referral Hospital, initially for other illnesses, but subsequently developed symptoms consistent with ebola.
Samples of the virus were taken from the patient and the diagnosis was confirmed by two branches of the country’s National Institute for Biomedical Research, located in Beni and Goma, the provincial capital.
Reason for concern
The analysis showed that it was genetically linked to the 2018–2020 Ebola outbreak. in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri, the longest and largest in the country.
“Resurgence of Ebola more frequent in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is a matter of concern. However, health authorities in North Kivu successfully stopped several Ebola outbreaks and, relying on this experience, no doubt, will quickly take control of the situation,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.
UN agency and Congo health officials are working to stop the spread of the disease.
They have identified 160 contacts whose health is being closely monitored while investigations are ongoing to determine the vaccination status of the confirmed case.
There are currently 1000 doses of rVSV-ZEBOV Ebola vaccine available in the country and 200 doses will be sent to Beni this week.
The WHO said it is expected to start “ring vaccination” soon, where contacts, as well as contacts of contacts, are vaccinated to contain the spread of the virus and protect lives.
The latest Ebola outbreak in the Beni Health Zone was brought under control approximately two months later ending December 16, 2021. In total, 11 cases were recorded – eight confirmed and three probable, including six deaths.