Ebola cases recorded in Eastern DRC since August 1

43 Ebola cases recorded in Eastern DRC since August 1

Ministry of Health, WHO and partners conduct first mission to evaluate Ebola outbreak in Mangina, in North Kivu

An outbreak of the Ebola virus declared this week in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo is believed to have killed 33 people, the health ministry said on Saturday.

It is not clear whether the new outbreak, more than 1,553 miles away, is related.

They met with local authorities, including the Mayor of Beni, Mabalako health zone chief and other members of the community to discuss the best way to respond to the outbreak.

The Minister of Health, the Governor of North Kivu and representatives from the Ministry of Health, WHO, UNICEF, MONUSCO, the World Bank, the Deputy Humanitarian coordinator, and dozens of health experts participated in the joint mission.

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Health officials announced the outbreak Wednesday, about a week after the government of Congo declared another Ebola outbreak in Equateur province had been contained.

"WHO is deploying more than 18 experts including epidemiologists, logisticians and experts in Infection Prevention Control, risk communication, social mobilization and community engagement from Goma, Kinshasa and Mbandaka to support the Ministry of Health to stop rapidly the Ebola virus from spreading", said Dr Allarangar Yokouidé, WHO Representative in the DRC.

The latest outbreak of the haemorrhagic virus 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.

"This is an active conflict zone".

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It has a natural host in a species of tropical African fruit bats, from which it is believed to leap to humans who kill and butcher the animals for food.

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.

World Health Organization has said the "signal event" in the new outbreak was the death of a 65-year-old woman who had been admitted to the hospital in Mangina village.

While insisting that all means available were being used to stop the latest outbreak, Doctor Ndjoloko Tambwe Bathe, who is heading the fight against the virus, told the UN's news website Okapi that "we cannot tell you whether we are making good progress or not".

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