The World Health Organisation has announced a new outbreak of the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
This marks the second time Ebola has hit Equateur province in as many years: A 2018 outbreak there killed 33 people before the disease was brought under control in a matter of months.
The resurfacing of Ebola in Équateur comes just as DRC was approaching the end of the current outbreak in the eastern part of the country, which has killed 2,134 people and infected 3,317. World Health Organization said it already had teams on the ground.
This would be the 11th outbreak of Ebola in DR Congo's history.More news: Major League Baseball rumors: Why 100-plus game season won’t work
"This is a province that has already experienced the disease".
DR Congo on Monday reported a fresh Ebola outbreak in the country's northwest, just weeks before it hoped to declare the end of another epidemic in the east. "They started the response at the local level on Sunday", Longondo said.
"Given the proximity of this new outbreak to busy transport routes and vulnerable neighboring countries, we must act quickly", Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, said in a statement.
Meanwhile, in the east health officials are still waiting to declare an official end to the epidemic after almost two years.More news: Flint Police Put Down Weapons, Join Protesters In George Floyd March
For it to be officially ended, there must be no new cases of the disease reported for 42 days, which is double the incubation period. By far the worst epidemic affecting the DRC is measles, which has infected almost 370,000 people and killed 6,779 since 2019. It will also continue to provide psychosocial support to families - including children - affected by the disease, and to make water, hygiene and sanitation available in communities, schools and health centres.
The conflict-wracked country is also fighting its own coronavirus outbreak, recording 3 195 infections - 2 896 in the capital Kinshasa - and 72 deaths, according to official figures released Monday.
Ebola is a potentially fatal virus that causes hemorrhagic fever, and severe vomiting and diarrhea. Different strains of the virus exist, and different outbreaks have had mortality rates ranging from 25 to 90 percent.
"We are in an ascending period of the curve", Longondo said, adding that it was still too "risky" to lift measures imposed on March 20 to stem the spread of COVID-19. Nine cases total have been reported, UNICEF said.More news: Outdoor Dining, Hair Salons and More Retail All Reopening In June