An Ebola outbreak in southern Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC’s) Kasai Occidental Province is now under control, according to a UN official.
“The epidemic has stabilised but we cannot say it is over. There is still a likelihood of it spreading; there are more new cases,” Matthieu Kamwa, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) resident representative in the DRC, said, adding that there was a need for increased vigilance.
According to an epidemiologist with the WHO, Adolphe Kongolo, at least 50 people have been affected with 15 deaths reported since 29 November when the outbreak began. The last positive case was confirmed on 18 January.
According to Kongolo, the National Institute of Biomedical Research in Kinshasa as well as laboratories in Gabon and South Africa confirmed 10 cases of Ebola from collected samples.
However, some people had died and were buried before samples could be obtained, he said. Most of the cases were in the village of Kalwamba in Kasai Occidental Province.
A case alert has been reported in nearby Tshikapa. A WHO health team and other partners are yet to collect samples and conduct other medical examinations in the area.
Meanwhile, awareness raising about Ebola is continuing, said provincial health inspector Edmond Mulumba, with the population being encouraged to report those with symptoms such as bleeding, fatigue, vomiting and diarrhoea.
“The population should continue adhering to hygiene measures, wash their hands regularly, use latrines and avoid eating bats or animals found dead in the bush because this is a source of contamination,” Mulumba said.
This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions