Second Ebola case confirmed in DR Congo

·1-min read

Health officials in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have confirmed a second case of Ebola and say the latest flare-up of the virus appears to be linked to the massive 2018-2020 outbreak.

A 42-year-old woman tested positive in the city of Beni on Wednesday, city health official Michel Tosalisana said.

The first confirmed case was a young boy who died of the disease last week.

Three of the boy's neighbours also died last month after experiencing symptoms associated with Ebola, which can include severe vomiting, haemorrhaging and diarrhoea.

"So far there have been more than 170 contacts listed around the first case, and with the confirmation of the second case, the listing of contacts will continue," Tosalisana told Reuters.

Steve Ahuka, a senior official at DR Congo's biomedical laboratory, told Reuters that preliminary sequencing indicated that the first confirmed case was the Zaire strain of the virus and was genetically linked to the 2018-2020 epidemic.

That outbreak, centred in Beni and the nearby city of Butembo, killed more than 2200 people and infected more than 1000 others.

Another flare-up linked to that outbreak lasted from February to May and killed six people.

Flare-ups can be caused by latent infections that linger in the semen of survivors.

The two available vaccines against Ebola, manufactured by Merck and Johnson & Johnson, protect effectively against the Zaire strain and have been used to quickly bring other recent outbreaks under control.

Medics began vaccinating contacts of the first case in Beni on Wednesday using the Merck shot.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting