DR Congo health authorities investigate suspected case of Ebola in North Kivu

In previous outbreaks, it has killed up to 90 percent of the people it infected, according to the WHO.

The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through person-to-person transmission. Photo: WHO

Health authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are investigating a suspected case of Ebola virus disease in the eastern province of North Kivu.

The country’s National Institute for Biomedical Research is analyzing sample data to determine if the patient had Ebola.

The suspected case is a 46-year-old woman who passed away on August 15, 2022 in the North Kivu city of Beni. The patient was initially treated at the Beni Referral Hospital for different conditions, but later developed symptoms of the Ebola virus.

“While the analysis is ongoing, WHO is already supporting health officials on the ground to investigate the case and prepare for a possible outbreak,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, in a statement. Press release.

On August 19, the WHO published its first guidance for Ebola virus disease therapy, emphasizing the use of two monoclonal antibodies.

The mAb114 and REGN-EB3 antibodies have shown clear benefits for people who have tested positive for Ebola.

The WHO urged the world community to improve access to these life-saving medicines.

Ebola is a serious and all too often fatal disease caused by the Ebola virus. In previous outbreaks, it has killed up to 90 percent of the people it infected, according to the WHO.

The virus is transmitted to people through wild animals and is spread through person-to-person transmission.

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Early identification, treatment, and care with the best supportive care, including hydration and electrolyte replacement, and symptom therapy, have greatly improved survival in previous Ebola outbreaks and responses.

The new guidance will benefit health professionals treating Ebola patients and policymakers involved in outbreak preparedness and response.

“From now on, people infected with the Ebola virus will have a better chance of recovering. if they seek care as soon as possible. As with other infectious diseases, timeliness is key.” Dr. Richard Kojan, co-chair of the expert group selected by WHO to develop the guidelines, said UN News.

People shouldn’t hesitate to consult health workers as quickly as possible to ensure they receive the best possible care, he added.

The recommendation comes from an analysis of clinical trials for monoclonal antibodies in those who have tested positive for Ebola.

These antibodies have shown clear benefits for patients.

Clinical trials were conducted in older people, pregnant and lactating women, children, and newborns whose mothers were confirmed to have Ebola within the first seven days.

The UN agency said it stands ready to help countries, suppliers and partners improve access to these two drugs.

“We have seen incredible advances in both the quality and safety of clinical care during Ebola outbreaks,” said Dr. Janet Diaz, director of the clinical management unit of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme. UN News.