Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo spreads to THIRD province as officials announce two cases and one death

Friday, August 16, 2019
By Paul Martin

Government officials announced Ebola had spread to South Kivu
A 26-year-old woman was killed by the virus while her child is being treated
South Kivu is more than 430 miles (700km) south of where the outbreak started
Cases have so far been focused in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri

16 August 2019

The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has spread to a third province, with two cases and one death confirmed.

Officials announced the killer virus had reached South Kivu, more than 430miles (700km) south of where the outbreak was first detected.

The latest victim is a 26-year-old woman. One of her children who also tested positive for Ebola is still alive and being treated.

Until now, cases have mostly been centered in the province of North Kivu and neighbouring Ituri.

But there are growing signs the outbreak is spiraling out of control as cases are appearing hundreds of miles away.

South Kivu borders the countries of Rwanda and Burundi, and is only separated from Tanzania and Zambia by a lake.

More than 1,900 people have died from Ebola in DRC in the past year, striking at least 2,850 people, figures show.

South Kivu’s government said in a statement: ‘Two cases which tested positive for Ebola were confirmed overnight in South Kivu, in Lwindi district in the Mwenga region.

‘A 26-year-old victim died and [one of their] children who tested positive is still alive and being treated.’

According to Reuters, the woman had been identified as a high-risk contact of another Ebola case in Beni, in North Kivu, last month.

She traveled by bus, boat and road with her two children to Mwenga, in South Kivu, where she died on Tuesday night, according to a slide from a presentation by health officials.

The woman had been vaccinated, the slide said.

The Ebola response team, headed by the Congolese government, identified 120 contacts and vaccinated 20 on Thursday.

South Kivu Governor Theo Ngwabidje told reporters: ‘Teams from the national anti-Ebola coordination campaign arrived yesterday [Thursday] to provide support.’

South Kivu has a long border running alongside Burundi and Rwanda.

No cases of Ebola have been recorded so far in Burundi, a tiny nation of around 11million.

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