Ebola returns to DR Congo

·1-min read

Health authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have declared a new outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus after a case was confirmed in the country's northwest.

The World Health Organization said in a statement on Saturday that a single case had been confirmed in Equateur province, with urgent investigations underway to determine the source of the infection.

There have been 14 Ebola outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 1976.

The latest infection is the sixth time the viral disease has emerged in the central African nation since 2018 - the most frequent occurrence in the country's Ebola history, according to the UN health agency.

"Time is not on our side," WHO regional director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti said.

"The disease has had a two-week head start and we are now playing catch-up.

"The positive news is that health authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have more experience than anyone else in the world at controlling Ebola outbreaks quickly."

A vaccination campaign will begin within days, the WHO said.

Ebola infections usually lead to high fever and internal bleeding and are often fatal.

In 2014 and 2015, the largest outbreak of the disease occurred in West Africa and resulted in more than 11,000 deaths.

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