The World Health Organization on Monday confirmed a second outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo, just as an initial outbreak appeared to be ending.
At a briefing Monday in Geneva, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said this new outbreak is near the northwestern city of Mbandaka in the DRC’s Equateur province.
Provincial Governor Bobo Boloko Bolumbu also confirmed four deaths on local radio. He said samples were sent to the INRC, the national medical research headquarters in Kinshasa, for secondary confirmation. He urged the population to remain calm, maintain good personal hygiene and not greet people “with your hands.”
In 2018, Equateur province had an Ebola outbreak that killed 33 people before it was brought under control.
Elsewhere, the eastern DRC has been battling an outbreak of the deadly virus since 2018. That outbreak left more than 2,240 people dead. The DRC is also grappling with a measles breakout, the world’s largest, as well as the novel coronavirus, which causes the COVID-19 disease. Close to 3,200 coronavirus cases have been reported in the DRC, according to the Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking cases. Seventy-two deaths have been reported.