Health officials in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have reported a fresh Ebola outbreak in the country's northwest, just weeks before they hoped to declare the end of another Ebolaepidemic in the country's east.
Mbandaka, a city of 1.5 million people on the Congo River, is about 620 miles from North Kivu province, where an earlier and ongoing outbreak of Ebola has killed more than 2,200. Three of the six identified cases were confirmed via laboratory testing, and experts expect more cases to surface as surveillance measures taken against the Ebola virus activate.
"The latest cases in Mbandaka come at a challenging time", said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, given that the country is also dealing with COVID-19.
This also marks the second outbreak of the Ebola virus in as many years; with 2018 being the first time the outbreak happened, killing 33 people before the disease was able was brought under control in a matter of months. It is transmitted through contact with the infected's bodily fluids and can result in vomiting, extensive internal bleeding-even hemorrhagic fever in severe cases.
'This is a province that has already experienced the disease.
Kinshasa: The Congo government announced on Monday that a new outbreak of Ebola virus disease is occurring in the Wangta region in Ecuador province.
Bolumbu added that samples were subsequently sent for more tests to the country's national medical research organization.
Alongside ebola, the country is battling the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed over 72 and infected over 3,000 so far. For this to happen, there have to be no new cases reported for 42 days - double the incubation period.
Another four people were being held in isolation at a hospital in Mbandaka, the UN's children agency Unicef said.
The detection of this case presents a new challenge to health authorities.
However, new outbreaks of Ebola are expected in the DRC given the existence of the virus in animal reservoirs in many parts of the country.
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