Democratic Republic of Congo Reports New Case of Ebola

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) reported on Feb. 7 a new case of Ebola in the city of Butembo in the North Kivu province after a woman died of the disease.

“It was a farmer, the wife of a survivor of Ebola, who showed typical signs of the disease on February 1,” Health Minister Eteni Longondo told state television RTNC.

The woman died on Feb. 3 in a hospital after her blood sample tested positive for Ebola.

According to the regional office of the World Health Organization (WHO), Butembo was one of the epicenters of the last outbreak in northeastern DRC.

“The expertise and capacity of local health teams has been critical in detecting this new Ebola case and paving the way for a timely response. WHO is providing support to local and national health authorities to quickly trace, identify and treat the contacts to curtail the further spread of the virus,” WHO Regional Director for Africa Dr. Matshidiso Moeti said.

WHO also said that a team of epidemiologists are investigating the case and over 70 people who had been in contact with the woman had already been identified.

The new case comes three months after health officials declared the end of the latest Ebola epidemic in the country, which was its 11th outbreak and it lasted for nearly six months in the western province of Equateur, killing 55 out of the 130 who were infected.

The “resurgence” potentially marks the beginning of the Central African country’s 12th outbreak.

“It is not unusual that sporadic cases continue after a major epidemic,” WHO said in a statement.

The new case also comes as DRC faces the COVID-19 pandemic, which has taken 122 lives out of the 8,060 confirmed cases in the country.

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