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Congo declares new Ebola outbreak with four confirmed cases in eastern province

05 August 2018

The Ministry of Health of the Democratic of the Congo (DRC) informed WHO that four out of six samples tested positive for Ebola virus at the Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale (INRB) in Kinshasa.

The Democratic Republic of Congo has reported an outbreak of Ebola in its conflict-torn east, killing 20 people, barely a week after it declared the end to an epidemic in the northwest of the vast country.

"Although we did not expect to face a tenth epidemic so early, the detection of the virus is an indicator of the proper functioning of the surveillance system", Kalenga said.

The World Health Organisation has started moving staff and supplies into the area.

Cases emerged in the northwestern city of Mbandaka, a city and transport hub on the Congo River with a population of more than a million.

Government officials said at least 20 people died in nine days after showing symptoms of haemorrhagic fever in and around the village of Mangina.

A nurse wears protective clothing as he demonstrates the facilities in place at the Royal Free Hospital in north London on 6 August 2014, in preparation for a patient testing positive for the Ebola virus.

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.

Worldwide experts set up a laboratory on Thursday in the city of Beni, 30 km from where the outbreak was declared, World Health Organization and Congolese officials said.

Congolese and worldwide health officials deployed an experimental vaccine during the last outbreak, which helped contain its spread after it reached a large river port city. This latest outbreak is the 10th since the first one was discovered in 1976.

However, the outbreak "is occurring in an environment which is very different from where we were operating in the northwest", a statement quoting Peter Salama, deputy director-general for emergency preparedness and response read.

Ebola, believed to be spread over long distances by bats, causes hemorrhagic fever, vomiting and diarrhea and is spread through direct contact with body fluids.

Congo declares new Ebola outbreak with four confirmed cases in eastern province