Small Ebola outbreak declared in DRC after three people die

The World Health Organisation has confirmed an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo after three people died.

USAID - Ebola Recovery

In a statement it said:

On 9 May, WHO was informed of a cluster of undiagnosed illness and deaths including haemorrhagic symptoms in Likati Health Zone, Bas Uele Province in the north of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), bordering Central African Republic.

On 11 May, the Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of Congo informed WHO that of 5 laboratory samples tested, 1 tested positive for Ebola virus at the Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale (INRB) laboratory in Kinshasa. Additional laboratory samples are currently being tested.

Since 22 April, nine suspected cases including 3 deaths have been reported. Six cases are currently hospitalized.

DRC’s health minister, Oly Ilunga Kalenga, has warned that while the outbreak was a “national health emergency with international significance” people should not “not to panic”.

WHO does say the area where infections have been detected is difficult to access but it is right on the border with the Central African Republic which will put it and countries in that region on high alert.