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Story by: Ben Doherty The Guardian

To further troubling news of a different, potential epidemic. The Democratic Republic of Congo is trying to contain an Ebola outbreak.

AFP reports:

A second person has died of Ebola in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo following a resurgence of the disease, three months after authorities declared the end of the country’s latest outbreak, the WHO said on Thursday.

The second victim was a female 60-year-old farm worker who died on Wednesday, the World Health Organisation’s country office said.

The woman was linked to the first fatality in the Biena health zone of North Kivu province, it added.

A medical worker checks a person’s temperature at the Matanda Hospital in Butembo, where the first case of Ebola died, in the North Kivu province of Congo.

A medical worker checks a person’s temperature at the Matanda Hospital in Butembo, where the first case of Ebola died, in the North Kivu province of Congo. Photograph: Al-hadji Kudra Maliro/AP

That first case involved a woman, the wife of an Ebola survivor, who died on February 3.

The WHO’s Africa office said at the time that the first victim had died in an area that had previously been one of the epicentres of the latest outbreak, near the town of Butembo.

Since the West African Ebola crisis of 2013-16 – which left 11,300 dead across the region – the WHO has eyed each new outbreak with great concern, treating the most recent Congolese epidemic as an international health emergency.

DR Congo had on November 18 declared that the epidemic, which lasted nearly six months in the northwestern province of Equateur, was over. It was the country’s eleventh Ebola outbreak, claiming 55 lives out of 130 cases.

A medical worker checks the quarantine area of the Matanda Hospital in Butembo.

A medical worker checks the quarantine area of the Matanda Hospital in Butembo. Photograph: Al-hadji Kudra Maliro/AP

The last person declared recovered from Ebola in Equateur was on October 16.

The widespread use of vaccinations, which were administered to more than 40,000 people, helped curb the disease.

The return of the virus 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, with 681 deaths to date.

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Source References: The Guardian
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