The Ebola virus has killed two people in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Ministry of Health announced mid this week.
The second victim is a 60-year-old woman who died on Wednesday, Feb 10 in the district of Biena, Northern Kivu.
The DRC’s health ministry said that a team has been deployed to trace more than 100 contacts of the two women in the health zones of Biena and Katwa, both located in Northern Kivu Province.
On Thursday 11, Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organizations (WHO) regional director for Africa said that the organisation was working in coordination with the DRC’s government to prevent further spread.
The latest Ebola outbreak was confirmed in Northern Kivu, DRC on 1 August 2018. The virus spread quickly where 3470 cases and 2287 deaths were registered until the virus was contained on 25 June 2020.
According to WHO, the new Ebola cases could complicate efforts to eradicate Covid-19, which has infected 23,771 people and killed 684 in DRC.
Besides the effort to fight Covid-19, the WHO has alerted another possible wave of the Ebola virus in DRC, asking governments to reinforce preventive measures.
On 8 February 2021, WHO conducted an urgent meeting with the DRC’s Minister of Health, and a team led by the Provincial Minister of Health of North Kivu was deployed to Butembo near Kwata and Beina district to organize immediate Ebola response activities.
Investigation is going on in Katwa, Biena, and Musienene Health Zones to identify the source(s) of transmission, identify contacts, and conduct active case finding, according to WHO.
A survey by the ‘New England Journal of Medicine’ that started in 2015 has revealed that Ebola virus may remain in men’s semen for more than two years.
The survey reveals that some men who survived Ebola their semen later tested positive.
However, the new findings only show some men carry Neural Representational Assembly (RNA) or genetic material from Ebola long after recovering from the disease. It does not necessarily mean that all men who test positive for Ebola RNA are still capable of transmitting the virus.
WHO recommends that people who recover from Ebola virus be tested for any lingering presence of Ebola RNA three months after recovering, and then again until the test is negative on two consecutive monthly tests.
If men have not been tested, they should abstain from sex for 12 months, or use condoms every time they have sex, according to WHO guidelines.