Up to 17 infected, 11 dead in Congo Ebola

The Democratic Republic of Congo has recorded up to 17 Ebola cases in a new outbreak of the deadly virus in the western province of Equateur, and 11 of those infected have died.

Medical authorities had reported 12 infections last week in the central African country. DR Congo's dilapidated health system is also combating a measles epidemic which has killed more than 6000 people and COVID-19, which has infected 4800 and killed 112.

The National Institute of Biomedical Research said on Monday in its daily report that there had been 14 confirmed and three probable Ebola cases since a cluster of infections was confirmed on June 1 in the city of Mbandaka.

Two Ebola cases have been confirmed in seven health zones across Equateur, including two cases in Bolomba, 300km northeast of Mbandaka, the World Health Organization said in an update.

The WHO said more than 2500 people had been vaccinated across the province. Vaccination had helped to control an Ebola outbreak 1000km away in the east of the country which has killed more than 2200 since 2018.

Genetic sequencing shows the new outbreak of Ebola, a virus discovered near northern Congo's Ebola River in 1976, is not linked to the one in the east.