The Democratic Republic of Congo has announced a “resurgence” of Ebola in its troubled east after a woman died of the disease, just three months after authorities declared the end of the country’s previous outbreak.
The health minister of the country, Eteni Longondo, has disclosed that the outbreak occurred in the Biena health zone of North Kivu province.
He said, “We have another episode of the Ebola virus. It was a farmer, the wife of a survivor of Ebola, who showed typical signs of the disease on February 1.”
She died on February 3, after which a sample of her blood tested positive for Ebola, the health ministry said.
The return of Ebola in the country’s northeast — a region plagued by violence between armed groups — comes as the vast African country is also fighting its own COVID-19 outbreak.
A previous Ebola outbreak in the DRC’s east, which ran from August 1 2018 to June 25, 2020, was the country’s worst ever, with 2,277 deaths.
It was also the second highest toll in the 44-year history of the disease, surpassed only by a three-country outbreak in West Africa from 2013-16 that killed 11,300 people.
The average fatality rate from Ebola is around 50 percent but this can rise to 90 percent for some epidemics, according to the World Health Organisation.
DR Congo has also recorded 23,599 coronavirus cases and 681 deaths in a population of around 80 million people.