Congo confirms 4 Ebola cases week after outbreak ends

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Four cases of the virus were confirmed in northeastern North Kivu province, the DRC's health minister said in a statement on Wednesday, though there was no indication they were linked to the country's previous - and ninth - Ebola outbreak in northwestern Equateur Province.

Dr. Fatoumata Nafo-Traore, regional director for Africa, says the proximity to a city of more than 230,000 people and an worldwide border also complicates the response.

GENEVA/GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) - An Ebola outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo is likely spread over tens of kilometres and poses a high regional risk given its proximity to borders, a World Health Organization (WHO) official said on Thursday.

In addition, 12 Ministry of Health experts including epidemiologists and doctors will travel to Beni with a mobile laboratory and protective equipment from the National Institute of Biomedical Research in Kinshasa. Authorities do not believe the new outbreak is connected to the Bikoro outbreak, which infected 54 people and killed 33 and which was just declared over.

Rwanda is on a high alert following a fresh outbreak of the deadly Ebola disease in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

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Meanwhile, Uganda has set up screening at the land border it shares with Congo and at its Entebbe global airport.

"This new cluster is occurring in an environment, which is very different from where we were operating in the north-west, " said Dr Peter Salama, Deputy Director-General of the Emergency Preparedness and Response team at WHO.

Health officials have blocked off the village of Mangina, where four cases have been confirmed.

Transmission among humans then typically spreads through close contact with the blood, body fluids, secretions or organs of someone who is sick with Ebola or has recently died.

The latest outbreak is the 10th in the DRC since 1976, when it was discovered in the north of the country, then called Zaire, and named after a river nearby. Over 11,300 people died of an epidemic in West Africa from 2013 to 2016.

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