The EHO has announced that a second Ebola patient has died in the northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo. The global health agency made the update just days after a fresh outbreak of the deadly disease emerged. In past Ebola outbreaks, fatality rates have varied from 25 percent to 90 percent – making it one of the most deadly diseases.
It comes just four months after the last outbreak of the virus.
Ebola is transmitted by coming into contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person or contaminated materials.
Symptoms include muscle aches and a fever, which resemble those seen in other common diseases such as malaria.
Details of the second death are yet to be released.
On Sunday it was confirmed that a 31-year-old man had died after being admitted to hospital on April 5.
The World Health Organisation’s regional director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, said: “Time is not on our side.
“The disease has had a two-week head start and we are now playing catch-up.”
Officials have already introduced emergency measures to try and contain the latest outbreak.
More than 70 contacts were made following the first death.
READ MORE: Putin facing brink: Exiled Russian oligarch says new EU sanctions would be ‘serious blow’
“The deceased patient received a safe and dignified burial, which involves modifying traditional funeral ceremonies in a way that minimizes the risk of contagious fluids infecting attendees.
“Anyone who came in contact with the patient are also being identified and their health will be monitored. The health facility where the patient received care has been decontaminated.”
The health body said the next step will be to roll out more vaccinations.
Dr Moeti added: “All those who were vaccinated during the 2020 outbreak will be revaccinated.”
This is the 14th Ebola outbreak that the Democratic Republic of the Congo has seen since 1976 – when the virus was first discovered.
Strides in medical advances have been made since the first outbreak, with effective treatments are now available.
This is helping significantly improve survival rates.
Dr Moeti added: “The positive news is that health authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have more experience than anyone else in the world at controlling Ebola outbreaks quickly.”