GOMA – The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday that a doctor in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has been hospitalized with Ebola, and 97 of his contacts have been identified.
“It is the first time we have a confirmed case and contacts in an area of high insecurity. It is really the problem we were anticipating and at same time dreading,” Dr. Peter Salama, WHO Deputy Director General for Emergency Preparedness and Response, told a news briefing in Geneva.
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Tuesday said children are also among those affected by the ongoing Ebola outbreak.
Government health officials have said the outbreak has so far killed 63 people in a space of three weeks.
North Kivu and Ituri provinces are the most hit by the deadly disease and presence of rebel groups including Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in eastern DRC is making efforts to track or monitor the disease difficult.
Civil society groups in eastern DRC say more than 100 militias operate in the region. It is the second epidemic of the illness in DRC this year, after the first Ebola outbreak in the northwest which left 33 people dead was declared over last month.
Health officials have registered 103 confirmed and probable Ebola cases since the latest outbreak began on August 1.
The DRC has experienced 10 Ebola outbreaks since the virus was discovered in 1976, altogether killing some 900 people.