BENI, DR Congo (AFP) — Four more people have died from Ebola in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, two weeks after another outbreak that killed 33 people in the northwest was declared over, the Congolese health ministry has said.
Four new deaths from people who tested positive for the disease were recorded in the Beni region in North Kivu province, a region with deep security problems which shares borders with Uganda and Rwanda.
The total death toll has reached seven from 16 confirmed cases, the ministry said in a bulletin on Monday.
“In total, 43 cases of haemorrhagic fever have been reported in the region, including 16 confirmed and 27 probable, and 31 suspected cases are under investigation,” the ministry said. Almost 1000 people who have had “contact” with the virus have been registered in health zones under surveillance, it said.
Ebola causes serious illness including vomiting, diarrhoea and in some cases internal and external bleeding. It is often fatal if untreated.
Targeted vaccinations are expected to begin on Wednesday.
“Twelve teams of vaccinators will be deployed in different affected areas,” the ministry said, adding that teams had arrived in Beni.
The health ministry on August 1 said the country was facing its tenth outbreak of Ebola since 1976. The World Health Organization (WHO) has said the “deterioration of the security situation” in affected area was expected to hinder the response to the outbreak.