The report of the outbreak, the tenth to hit DRC since it was discovered in 1976, came barely a week after Congo had declared the end to an epidemic in its northwest region. "Beni has been deeply unstable for the past few years due to armed conflict and Ebola poses a serious risk to communities already on the edge, and threatens our ability to help them", Jose Barahona, the charity organization Oxfam's country director for DRC, tells The Guardian. This could include redeploying personnel involved in the Ebola response in Equateur Province, as well as the deployment of new experts if necessary. The DRC said 26 people have reported illnesses. "Working closely with the Ministry of Health and partners, we will fight this one as we did the last". Health officials said a quick global response and vaccinations of more than 3,300 people were major factors in containing the outbreak.
Six samples were taken from hospitalised patients and sent to the National Institute of Biological Research in Kinshasa, the capital, for analysis. Further testing is on-going.
The declaration brought the curtain down on an outbreak which began two months earlier in the remote northwestern area of Bikoro, about 2,000km from Mangina, on May 8 and culminated in 54 confirmed cases of Ebola, 33 of which proved fatal.
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The North Kivu is Congo's third Ebola outbreak in 2018, but officials this time have large supplies of vaccines and the means to educate the country's population about symptoms. "This new cluster is occurring in an environment which is very different from where we were operating in the northwest", said Dr Peter Salama, WHO Deputy Director-General, Emergency Preparedness and Response.
The village is just 30 kilometers from the city of Beni and its more than 680,000 people. "It is, on the other hand, worrying that this area is a conflict zone.It is an area with lots of displacement, so the access can be hampered in that way".
WHO, however, said it would "continue to work with neighbouring countries to ensure health authorities are alerted and prepared to respond".