A third Ebola case has been identified in Democratic Republic of Congo’s city of Mbandaka, the World Health Organization said on Thursday.
The patient is a 48-year-old man believed to be a “high-risk” contact of the first Ebola patient identified in the DRC’s latest outbreak, who died on April 21.
A tweet by the WHO on Thursday, May 5 reads: “Responders have identified 444 contacts and continue to monitor their health,” it said.
DRC health authorities declared a new outbreak in the country’s northwestern Equateur Province on April 22.
A second victim of the virus died on April 25, after experiencing symptoms for more than a week, the WHO said last week.
The victim, a 25-year-old woman, was said to be the first casualty’s sister-in-law.
Vaccinations have since commenced in Mbandaka with 281 people vaccinated so far, according to the WHO’s last published figures on inoculation.
According to the WHOs Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, though many people have received their vaccination, those who were vaccinated two years ago when the DRC experienced an outbreak of the virus will be revaccinated.
The DRC has huge supplies of the Ebola vaccine, the WHO assured, adding that the country’s health authorities are more experienced in containing the disease than anywhere else in the world.
Investigations to determine the source of the current outbreak remain ongoing, the WHO said.
The DRC has experienced 13 outbreaks of Ebola in total, including one that started in 2018 and claimed nearly 2,300 victims, according to WHO.