New Ebola case confirmed in eastern DR Congo | Ebola News

Three-year-old boy tests positive and dies near Beni just five months after the latest epidemic in the country was declared over.

One Ebola case has been confirmed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) just five months after the latest epidemic of the disease in the country was declared over.

A three-year-old boy tested positive near the eastern city of Beni, one of the epicenters for the 2018-2020 outbreak, and died of the disease on Wednesday, Health Minister Jean Jacques Mbungani said in a statement Friday.

It is not immediately known if the case was related to the 2018-2020 eruption that killed more than 2,200 people in the eastern DRC, the second deadliest ever, or the flare-up that killed six this year.

About 100 people who may have been exposed to the virus have been identified and will be monitored to see if they develop symptoms, the statement added.

An internal report from the DRC’s biomedical laboratory said three of the toddlers’ neighbors in Beni’s densely populated Butsili neighborhood also showed symptoms consistent with Ebola last month and died, but none were tested.

The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a statement saying it was working with “health authorities to investigate the matter”.

The DRC has recorded 12 previous outbreaks since the disease was discovered in the equatorial forest near the Ebola River in 1976.

It causes severe vomiting and diarrhea and is spread by contact with body fluids.

The disease reappeared in February in an area of ​​North Kivu that between August 2018 and June 2020 experienced the largest outbreak of Ebola in the DRC’s history – 3,470 infections and 2,287 deaths.

Health experts say it is not uncommon for sporadic cases to occur after a major outbreak. Particles of the virus may remain present in semen for months after recovery from an infection.

The disease typically kills about half of those it infects, although treatments developed in West Africa have significantly reduced mortality when cases are detected early.

Two highly effective vaccines have also been used to limit outbreaks since then.

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