The latest outbreak infected 11 people between October and December and killed six
A new case of Ebola has been confirmed in the northwest of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the National Institute for Biomedical Research announced on Saturday, four months after the end of the last epidemic in the country.
The case, a 31-year-old man, was detected in the city of Mbandaka, capital of Congo’s Equateur province, the institute said. A Department of Health spokesperson confirmed the finding.
The patient began showing symptoms on April 5, but did not seek treatment for over a week. He was admitted to an Ebola treatment center on April 21 and died later that day, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement.
“Time is not on our side,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “The disease had a two-week head start and we are now playing catch-up.”
Mbandaka, a crowded commercial hub on the banks of the Congo River, has faced two previous outbreaks – in 2018 and 2020. It is a city where people live close together, with road, sea and air connections to the capital Kinshasa.
WHO said efforts to contain the disease are already underway in Mbandaka, and a vaccination campaign will begin in the coming days.
Congo has had 13 previous Ebola outbreaks, including one in 2018-20 in the east that killed nearly 2,300 people, the second-highest death toll in the history of haemorrhagic fever.
The latest outbreak, also in the east, infected 11 people between October and December and killed six.
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