Four new cases of Ebola have been recorded in the northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) barely a week after authorities announced the end of an outbreak that started in mid-June in the northwest.
The Health Ministry in confirming the news added that twenty others had also died of hemorrhagic fever in the same area. The confirmation of Ebola return to the DRC was earlier reported by Governor Julien Paluku of the North Kivu province.
He wrote on Twitter: “EBOLA VIRUS confirmed in North Kivu province, BENI territory… The Ministry of Health has just announced after confirmation of the analyzes at the INRB.
“I call for calm and prudence. The media must spread widely,” his tweet continued. The Ministry also stressed that there was no connection that the ‘defeated’ northwest outbreak – which lasted over 40 days and killed 33 people was related to the current one.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said its response to the earlier outbreak had decidedly helped curtail any spread. Its head and senior officials were on ground to help the DRC to contain and fight the virus.
The global body nor its Africa region have yet to officially comment on the current outbreak. The flare-up, first detected in the rural village of Ikoko Impinge in northwest Congo in April, was dealt with rapidly by WHO and Congolese authorities, including the deployment of an experimental vaccine given to over 3,300 people.
Ebola, believed to be spread over long distances by bats, causes hemorrhagic fever, vomiting and diarrhoea and is spread through direct contact with body fluids. It often spreads to humans via infected bush meat.