Brazzaville/Kinshasa [Congo], August 21 (ANI): Health authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are investigating a suspected case of Ebola virus disease in the country's eastern province of North Kivu, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Saturday.
The WHO said the country's National Institute of Biomedical Research (INRB) is in the process of testing samples to determine if the patient contracted Ebola.
The suspected case is a 46-year-old woman who died on August 15, 2022 in Beni, a town located in North Kivu. The case received care at the Beni Referral Hospital, initially for other ailments, but subsequently, exhibited symptoms consistent with Ebola virus disease.
"While the analysis is ongoing, WHO is already on-the-ground supporting health officials to investigate the case and prepare for a possible outbreak," said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa.
The world health body said that they are working with health authorities to identify anyone who came in contact with the suspected case and monitor their health.
"WHO will also work to ensure proper infection prevention and control measures are in place, that treatment can be made available for those who need it, and to raise awareness about Ebola among local communities," the statement added.
This suspected case comes a day after WHO published its first guideline for Ebola virus disease therapeutics, with new strong recommendations for the use of two monoclonal antibodies.
In its guidelines published on Friday, the WHO has called for countries to improve access to two lifesaving medicines against viral disease.
The recommendation follows a review and analysis of clinical trials for the monoclonal antibodies mAb114 (known as Ansuvimab or Ebanga) and REGN-EB3 (Inmazeb), which have demonstrated clear benefits for people who have tested positive for Ebola, which is often fatal.
The clinical trials were conducted during Ebola outbreaks. WHO said the largest trial was carried out in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, demonstrating that the highest level of scientific rigour can be applied even during Ebola outbreaks in difficult contexts.
The UN agency also provided recommendations regarding therapeutics that should not be used as treatments, which include ZMapp and remdesivir.
Ebola is a severe and too often fatal illness caused by the Ebola virus. Previous Ebola outbreaks and responses have shown that early diagnosis and treatment with optimized supportive care --with fluid and electrolyte repletion and treatment of symptoms--significantly improve survival. (ANI)