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'Time is not on our side': New Ebola outbreak declared, and disease has had 'two-week head start'

Four months after the end of the last Ebola outbreak, an Ebola epidemic has been declared in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

On 5 April, a 31-year old man was diagnosed with Ebola. The man was admitted to Ebola treatment center on Thursday and died shortly afterward.

Dr Matshidiso Moeti is the World Health Organisation’s regional director Africa. He stated that “Time is not on my side.” We have now begun to catch up after the disease had gained a two-week advantage.

This is the 14th Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 1976, when the virus was discovered.


Officials have confirmed that the patient who has died was buried in a dignified and safe manner.

His contacts include more than 70 people. Vaccinations in Mbandaka will be intensified.

Ebola can be transmitted through contact with bodily fluids or contaminated materials.

More information about Ebola

Early symptoms include fever and muscle aches, which are similar to other common diseases like malaria.

Past Ebola outbreaks have seen fatalities rates vary from 25% to 90%. However, effective treatments are now available and patients who seek care early can see an increase in their chances of survival.

Dr Moeti said: “The good news is that the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s health authorities have more experience than any other country in controlling Ebola outbreaks rapidly.”


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