Juba on the lookout to avert Ebola spread from DRC

Friday November 16 2018

A health worker wearing protective gear at a facility treating Ebola cases in West Africa. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

A health worker wearing protective gear at a facility treating Ebola cases in West Africa. UNHCR fears the epidemic could spread to South Sudan from DR Congo. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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South Sudan has intensified the Ebola epidemic surveillance at the border with DR Congo following the suspicious death of a hunter in the region.

The Director of the Public Health Emergency Operations Centre, a unit coordinating the South Sudan Ebola surveillance, Mr Mathew Tut, said the samples from the deceased were taken to the Kampala Virus Research Institute for further examination, after preliminary tests in Juba turned negative.

The hunter from Lanya County in Yei River State, reportedly died of Ebola-like symptoms.

The man, whose name was not disclosed to the media, was said to have suffered from general body pain, fever and headache, passed watery diarrhoea and vomited blood.

The samples

He reportedly fell sick on November 6, and continued vomiting blood and passing watery diarrhoea until he died on November 11 at Lanya hospital.


Lanya is near the border with Uganda and the DR Congo.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative for South Sudan, Dr Olu Olushayo, confirmed that the samples from the deceased turned negative at the Kampala Virus Research Institute.

“We are sending more personnel to Yei and Yambio to do more awareness,” Mr Tut said.

Latest outbreak

Refugee agency UNHCR recently warned that the Ebola epidemic could spread to South Sudan due to the influx of Congolese refugees.

UNHCR has also joined the government on sensitisation and awareness raising on Ebola prevention, transmission and the importance of high vigilance on arrivals from DRC.

It said 42 Congolese new arrivals were already in Yei River State, but did not disclose whether they were Ebola free or not.

An Ebola outbreak in 2014 in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone killed more than 11,000 people.

DRC has been repeatedly struck by the deadly Ebola and was still battling the latest outbreak since early this year.