Congo reports first confirmed Ebola case in over a week

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GOMA, DRC, June 7 – Democratic Republic of Congo has
recorded its first confirmed case of Ebola in over a week,
the health ministry said on Thursday, although medics say
they have made significant progress in their efforts to
contain the disease.

The patient, a known contact of someone who is believed to
have died from Ebola on May 20, was confirmed positive on
Wednesday for the hemorrhagic fever in the rural community of
Iboko, the ministry said in a daily report.

Health officials have moved aggressively to contain the
epidemic in a bid to head off a repeat of the 2013-16 outbreak
in West Africa that killed more than 11,300 people.

Over 1,800 health workers and other people who could have
been exposed to the virus have received an experimental vaccine
first tested in the waning days of the West Africa epidemic.

Those efforts and the slowing pace of new cases have led
health officials to express cautious optimism about containing
the outbreak, although its location directly upstream from the
Congo River of the capital Kinshasa remains a concern.

The last confirmed case before Wednesday was on May 30 in
Iboko. The ministry also reported five new suspected cases on
Thursday, including two in Mbandaka, a city of some 1.5 million
people.

In all, the ministry has recorded 38 confirmed, 14 probable
and 10 suspected cases, including 27 deaths.

The World Health Organization said on Thursday that it was
committing $15.6 million over the next nine months to helping
the nine countries that border Congo to scale up their emergency
response capabilities.

Earlier this week, the government of the northern Angolan
province Malanje closed its river border with Congo in response
to the outbreak.

-(Reuters)