Four new Ebola cases hit DR Congo's North Kivu province


The North Kivu is Congo's third Ebola outbreak in 2018, but officials this time have large supplies of vaccines and the means to educate the country's population about symptoms.

The announcement was issued just eight days after the Ministry of Health declared the official end of an Ebola outbreak in Equateur Province, some 2,500 kilometres from North Kivu.

"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", Health Minister Oly Ilunga said.

The government confirmed to the World Health Organization on Wednesday that four out of six samples tested for Ebola virus at the Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale in Kinshasa returned a positive result.

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Travel into and out of the Mangina has been blocked.

The Health Ministry in confirming the news added that twenty others had also died of hemorrhagic fever in the same area.

Julien Paluku, governor of North Kivu province, announced the outbreak on Twitter, just a week after Congolese and United Nations health officials announced the end of a separate outbreak that killed 33 people in the country's northwest.

"This new cluster is occurring in an environment, which is very different from where we were operating in the north-west, " said Dr Peter Salama, Deputy Director-General of the Emergency Preparedness and Response team at WHO. Those 54 Ebola cases included 33 deaths.

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Ebola is a virus-caused haemorrhagic fever with a high fatality rate and in extreme cases causes bleeding from internal organs, the mouth, eyes or ears.

This is the central African country's 10th outbreak since 1976, when the virus was discovered near the eponymous Ebola river in the north. It spreads through contact with bodily fluids of those infected, including the dead.

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

An outbreak concentrated in the West African countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea killed at least 11,300 people between 2013 and 2016.

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