The World Health Organization (WHO) and partners are setting up new operations in the city of Butembo in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) after a new case of Ebola was detected there.
It comes just over a month after authorities declared an Ebola outbreak in the North Kivu province of the DRC. While authorities say much progress has been made in the response to the outbreak to date, they have highlighted the importance of controlling an outbreak in Butembo.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said additional cases in the city would be of concern given the population size and the fact Butembo is a commercial and travel hub between DRC and Uganda. “This situation has the potential for new chains of transmission if not rapidly controlled,” it said.
In a statement, the WHO said more than 60 WHO experts are now setting up key operations in the city. Ring vaccination of healthcare workers, contacts and contacts of contacts of the confirmed case from Butembo are underway. WHO’s team leader for the Butembo outbreak, Dr Marie Roseline Darnycka Belizaire, said the next two weeks "will be crucial to controlling the outbreak".