Congo encounters new Ebola outbreak, months after conquering one

After a case of deadly hemorrhagic fever was reported on Sunday, the Democratic Republic of Congo is trying to curb a potential resurgence of Ebola in its east.

The health ministry of Kinshasa stopped short of announcing an outbreak, but said tests performed on a woman who had symptoms of the virus before she died in the city of Butembo indicated she was suffering from Ebola.

She was married to a man who had, in a previous outbreak, contracted the virus.

Butembo and Beni were the epicentres of an outbreak that killed more than 2,200 people from August 1, 2018, to June 25, 2020.

According to Africanews, the latest case, probably the 12th outbreak in the history of the country, comes almost three months after the DRC declared the end of one in the province of Equateur in the northwest, which infected 130 people and killed 55.

The last person announced to have recovered from Ebola in Equateur was on October 16. The extensive use of Ebola vaccinations, which were distributed to more than 40,000 people, helped prevent the disease, Africanews reports.

The ministry said a team of epidemiologists had been sent to the region from the province.

A statement added that it had identified more than 70 people who had come into contact with the victim.

In humans and nonhuman primates, Ebola is a rare and deadly illness. Via direct contact with an infected animal (bat or nonhuman primate) or a sick or dead person who is infected with the Ebola virus, people may get Ebola.

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