AUGUST 24, 2018 A doctor living in the town of Oicha in North Kivu has been re-hospitalized with Ebola symptoms after his wife was confirmed as having the disease when she traveled to the nearby city of Beni, said Dr. Peter Salama, WHO’s head of emergency operations.

Since the outbreak erupted on Aug. 1, 103 confirmed and probable cases of Ebola have been identified in North Kivu and Ituri provinces, including 63 deaths, Congo’s health ministry said in an overnight update.

Oicha is almost entirely surrounded by ADF Ugandan Islamist militia, and there are “extremely serious security concerns” following many civilian killings, he said. Aid workers, priests and government officials are held hostage in the area, he added.

More than 100 armed groups operate in all of volatile eastern Congo, including dozens in North Kivu.

The doctor’s initial test for Ebola – which causes vomiting, hemorrhagic fever and diarrhea – had been negative but fresh results are awaited after retesting, Salama told Reuters. The doctor is among 14 confirmed or probable cases among health workers.

So far 97 of the couple’s contacts who may have been exposed to the virus have been identified, and vaccination has begun in Oicha, according to Salama.

WHO and health experts reached Oicha with armed escort by MONUSCO troops this week from Beni along a road classified as a “red zone” in terms of insecurity, Salama said.

“We know from that incident now in Oicha we are going to have to operate in some very complex environments due to security and access concerns.”

In another worrying development, angry youths burned down a health center in the village of Manbangu where vaccinations were underway, after learning of a death from Ebola, Salama said.


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