DR Congo announces fresh Ebola outbreak

Four new cases of Ebola have been confirmed in the Democratic Republic of Congo, just a week after the country announced the end of its ninth Ebola outbreak.

The outbreak has occurred in the Beni region of North Kivu - the stronghold of a notorious Ugandan-linked Islamist militia called the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).

A team of 12 experts from the health ministry will arrive in Beni on Thursday to set up a response operation, the ministry said, and local travel restrictions were being implemented.

The North Kivu health division notified the health ministry on Saturday of 26 cases of haemorrhagic fever, including 20 deaths in North Kivu province, the ministry said.

Four of six samples sent for analysis to the National Institute of Biological Research in Kinshasa, the capital, came back positive for Ebola, the ministry said. The species of Ebolavirus responsible has yet to be sequenced, but the DRC's health ministry says there's no indication of a link between the outbreaks.

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Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), said in a tweet on Wednesday that health officials would continue to fight the "constant threat" of Ebola in the DRC. Boum adds that the DRC villages today are much more connected than in the past, and many previous small outbreaks may have gone undetected.

That is more than twice as many as any other country. The unlicensed vaccine was given to frontline workers in the DRC.

Ebola is endemic in the DRC, which now has had 10 outbreaks since the virus first was discovered there in 1976. Those 54 Ebola cases included 33 deaths.

The average fatality rate is around 50 percent, varying from 25 percent to 90 percent, according to the WHO.

In the worst outbreak of Ebola, the disease struck the West African states of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in 2013-15, killing more than 11,300 people.

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