Congo announces 4 new Ebola cases in country’s northeast

Congo announces 4 new Ebola cases in country’s northeast

Congo announces 4 new Ebola cases in country’s northeast

At least 20 people are dead amid a new outbreak of the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, just days after the country's Ministry of Health declared the last outbreak officially over.

Officials have said they now feel better prepared for Ebola outbreaks, in sharp contrast to the 2014 epidemic of the virus, which killed more than 11,000 people, mostly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

"What adds to our confidence in the country's ability to respond is the transparency they have displayed once again", Tedros added.

Preliminary laboratory results have confirmed a new cluster of cases in the Mangina area near Beni, a densely populated town, about 2,500 km from the last flare-up.

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Over 50 people were infected in the Equateur outbreak and 33 died, Congolese officials said.

Rwanda is on a high alert following a fresh outbreak of the deadly Ebola disease in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

Congolese and global health officials deployed an experimental vaccine during the last outbreak, which helped contain its spread after it reached a large river port city. Six samples from these patients were tested, and four tested positive for Ebola, the ministry said.

The majority of the cases are in the Mangina health area which is 30 kilometres from the city of Beni.

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Oly Ilunga, MD, of the DRC's health minister, took to Twitter today to announce the cases, which are centered around Beni in the Magina health district.

Experts from the health ministry will arrive in the region on Thursday to coordinate a response to the virus, the ministry said.

"This is an active conflict zone", Peter Salama, the World Health Organization deputy director-general for emergency response, said in a statement, calling the region very different from where the last outbreak occurred. "This is an active conflict zone".

Equator Province is located more than 1,500 miles from North Kivu, and there was no indication that the two epidemics were related, according to the health ministry.

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One of the world's most feared diseases, Ebola is a virus-caused haemorrhagic fever that in extreme cases causes fatal bleeding from internal organs, the mouth, eyes or ears. "The major barrier will be safely accessing the affected population".

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