Congo declares 4 new Ebola outbreak in eastern province

Congo declares 4 new Ebola outbreak in eastern province

"As Ebola Virus Disease is endemic in several parts of the country due to the equatorial forest ecosystem, the Ministry of Health has already strengthened its epidemiological surveillance system in all risk areas, including North Kivu", the ministry said in a statement.

20 people have died in the Democratic Republic of Congo after showing symptoms of haemorrhagic fever.

A new outbreak of Ebola has been detected in northeastern Congo only a week after the most recent outbreak in a different part of the country was declared over, the country's health ministry said Wednesday.

Meanwhile, DRC flew a team led by its Health Minister Oly Ilunga Kalenga to an eastern region hit by Ebola on Thursday to help oversee the response.

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

The last outbreak of this fatal virus in Congo was declared over just a week ago.

Health officials have blocked off the village of Mangina, where four cases have been confirmed.

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The latest outbreak is the 10th in the DRC since 1976, when it was discovered in the north of the country, then called Zaire, and named after a river nearby.

Four of six samples later tested positive for the haemorrhagic virus.

About 1,000 civilians have been killed by armed groups and government soldiers around Beni since 2014, and the wider region of North Kivu holds over 1 million displaced people. "This is an active conflict zone".

"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.

Meanwhile, Uganda has set up screening at the land border it shares with Congo and at its Entebbe worldwide airport.

Jeremy Konyndyk, an aid expert at the Center for Global Development, said other recent Ebola outbreaks had fortunately been in relatively safe and stable areas.

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.

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