Wednesday, September 27, 2023
HomeWeekly RoundupDoctor hospitalised with Ebola in DRC

Doctor hospitalised with Ebola in DRC

A doctor in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has been hospitalised with Ebola, and 97 of his contacts have been identified in an area almost entirely surrounded by armed militia, Reuters Health reports the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said.

“It is the first time we have a confirmed case and contacts in an area of high insecurity. It is really the problem we were anticipating and at same time dreading,” Dr Peter Salama, WHO deputy director-general for emergency preparedness and response, is quoted as saying. The town of Oicha is almost entirely surrounded by ADF Ugandan Islamist militia, there are “extremely serious security concerns”, he said, adding that the group held hostages.


The DRC's health ministry says, meanwhile, that two of the first 10 people to receive an experimental treatment for the Ebola virus in the latest outbreak have recovered, and monitoring could show what role the treatment played. According to an IoL report, the WHO head has congratulated the DRC government for making several experimental treatments available in this Ebola outbreak, calling it "a global first, and a ray of hope for people with the disease."

The two people received the mAb114 treatment isolated from a survivor of an Ebola outbreak in 1995. It was the first of five experimental treatments Congo approved for use in the

WHO said Ebola has spread to an area of high-security risk, a "pivotal" moment that endangers the health of medical teams. Several armed groups roam the DRC's densely populated northeast, and health officials have said "red zones" where attacks occur pose a serious challenge to finding and monitoring contacts of infected people.

Nearly 3,000 people in this outbreak have received an experimental Ebola vaccine.

The report says this is Congo's tenth outbreak of the virus and the first in North Kivu province, which aside from the resident population hosts an estimated 1m people displaced by fighting. The affected region in this outbreak, which includes Ituri province to the north, borders Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan.

While WHO says the public health risk is high at the national and regional level, the report says it advises against travel restrictions.

[link url=""]Reuters Health[/link]
[link url=""]IoL report[/link]

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Receive Medical Brief's free weekly e-newsletter.

* indicates required