KEY POINTS

  • Congo sees its second Ebola outbreak as per WHO's report
  • The outbreak is in the northern section of the country
  • Experts already identified six Ebola virus cases 

As if the coronavirus pandemic is not enough, officials of the World Health Organization (WHO) are now confirming a second outbreak of the Ebola virus in the country of Congo. The grim news was announced by top officials of the WHO in a series of official tweets.

A Looming Health Crisis

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of WHO, said Monday that Congo is facing another health crisis on top of the world’s biggest measles outbreak and the coronavirus pandemic. Reports say that the country is yet to declare an official end to the Ebola virus outbreak in its troubled eastern section. That part of Congo saw at least 2,243 people dying since the onset of the epidemic in August of 2018.

Congolese health authorities have now identified six cases of Ebola virus infection in the north near the city of Mbandaka in Equateur province. The WHO’s top official, in a tweet Monday, stated the cases mentioned by Congolese authorities include four fatalities. “The country is also in the final phase of battling Ebola in eastern DRC, COVID19 & the world’s largest measles outbreak,” Dr. Tedros tweeted. WHO reports second ebola outbreak in Congo WHO reports second ebola outbreak in Congo Photo: bhossfeld - Pixabay

Dr. Tedros, however, assured everyone that his organization is committed to working with governments across the globe to respond to new disease outbreaks and other health emergencies. This is aside from his organization’s effort to suppress the spread of the coronavirus and accelerate science around vaccines and diagnostics.

A Deadly Outbreak

This marks the second time that an Ebola virus outbreak has hit the Equateur province in many years. In 2018, the Ebola outbreak caused 33 people to die before the disease was brought under control after several months. The last known patient during the outbreak in eastern Congo was released in the middle of May. The country, however, has to go for about one month without any new Ebola cases before any official declaration can be made as regards the outbreak’s end.

In the case of COVID-19, Congo has 611 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection, with 20 fatalities. According to figures released Monday by health officials and the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, their coronavirus numbers have been rising steadily over the past couple of weeks. Like many other African countries, Congo has conducted limited testing on suspected coronavirus patients, and health observers are worried the true toll may, in fact, be far higher than what is being announced.