KINSHASA – A group of Chinese health experts were expected to arrive on Friday in the Democratic Republic of Congo to deal with the ongoing Ebola outbreak alongside with Congolese health authorities, the health ministry announced.
According to Congo’s health ministry, a new case tested positive for the Ebola virus, elevating the total number of confirmed cases to 38, while the death toll remained at 27, of which 13 bodies were confirmed as testing positive for Ebola.
“This Friday, a team of experts from China will arrive in Kinshasa to assist health authorities in their response to the Ebola virus disease. Like the other international experts who have come to support Congolese experts, they will participate in different commissions that have been set up to handle the response” the health ministry said in a statement.
A total of 62 confirmed and suspected cases had been reported as of Thursday in the three western rural areas worst affected by the outbreak: Bikoro and Iboko and the city of Mbandaka.
A vaccination campaign for 1,826 people has been carried out over the past three weeks in the affected areas by the Congolese health ministry, the World Health Organization, Doctors Without Borders and other health aid groups.
The VSV-EBOV vaccine was being used for immunization, an experimental treatment that was tested in Guinea after the 2014-2016 epidemic and was developed by the United States pharmaceutical company Merck.
Meanwhile, MSF water and sanitation expert Paul Jawor stressed that “the main challenge will be convincing people to seek care at the treatment centers, especially in remote areas like Iboko.”
“We must spare no effort to ensure that communities know how to protect themselves from the spread of this disease,” he added.
Early symptoms include a sudden high fever, intense weakness and muscle pain, headaches and a sore throat, as well as vomiting.