Another Ebola outbreak hits DRC days after previous outbreak declared over

BREAKING

BREAKING

An worldwide delegation has arrived in the town of Beni in Democratic Republic of Congo, 30 km (18 miles) from where an Ebola outbreak was declared, the World Health Organization said on Thursday.

Four of six samples later tested positive for the haemorrhagic virus.

Worldwide health experts have arrived in the region.

They said the fact that they had caught the virus so early showed that preparations for combatting the deadly disease had been effective.

Officials have not confirmed the particular strain of Ebola causing the outbreak, which may have killed 20 people, but WHO's emergency response chief Peter Salama said it could be the Zaire, Sudan or Bundibugyo strain.

On July 24, Ilunga himself had declared the end to a 10-week outbreak that struck the northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo, claiming 33 lives and prompting worldwide concern.

Government officials said at least 20 people died in nine days after showing symptoms of haemorrhagic fever in and around the village of Mangina.

It said in a statement late Wednesday that it still had staff and equipment in place in DR Congo after dealing with the May-July outbreak, and this would give it a "head start".

Ebola is endemic in the DRC, which now has had 10 outbreaks since the virus first was discovered there in 1976.

The resurgence of the disease in North Kivu, an active conflict area that houses more than 1 million displaced people, will present fresh challenges to the authorities.

"This is an active conflict zone", Peter Salama, the World Health Organization deputy director-general for emergency response, said in a statement, calling the region very different from where the last outbreak occurred. "The major barrier will be safely accessing the affected population".

Ebola is believed to be transported long distances by bats and can find its way into bush meat sold at local markets and eaten.

Transmission among humans then typically spreads through close contact with the blood, body fluids, secretions or organs of someone who is sick with Ebola or has recently died.

An outbreak from 2014 to 2016 killed over 11,000 people in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

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