Ebola outbreak declared in northeast DR Congo

Friday May 12 2017

An Ebola outbreak has been declared in northeast Democratic Republic of Congo, the World Health Organisation said Friday, after the virus caused three deaths in the area since April 22.

The WHO said the outbreak affects an equatorial forest region in Bas-Uele province, bordering Central African Republic.

"It is in a very remote zone, very forested, so we are a little lucky," WHO spokesman Eric Kabambi told Reuters.

The last Ebola outbreak in Congo in 2014 was quickly contained and killed 49 people according to official figures.

In a television address, Health Minister Oly Ilunga confirmed the outbreak while urging the population "not to panic".

The country "has taken all necessary measures to respond quickly and efficiently to this new outbreak", he said.


The WHO said it was working closely with DR Congo authorities to help deploy health workers and protective equipment in the remote area, which is difficult for teams to access, in order to "rapidly control the outbreak".

In West Africa, an Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone saw the death of more than 11,000 people between 2014 and 2015.

The WHO was criticised at the time for responding too slowly and failing to grasp the gravity of the outbreak.