The Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) says a new Ebola case has been detected in Butsili in North Kivu, the DRC Province that borders Rwanda in the west.
This is the second Ebola warning in Butsili, after the first on 3 May 2021, according to the DRC’s Ministry of Health.
The Ebola case has been announced after Goma branch of the National Institute of Biomedical Research (INRB) confirmed Ebola virus in samples taken from a young child who died after suffering from Ebola-like symptoms on October 6 2021.
Butsili, where an Ebola case has been announced neighbors Beni, a town which is reportedly one of the epicenters of the 2018–2020 Ebola outbreak in eastern DRC.
It is about 50 kilometers from Butembo city which experienced a new Ebola outbreak in February and May 2021.
The officials however, say it is too early to confirm that the new case is related to the previous outbreak in May this year. The city of Beni is a commercial hub, with links to the neighboring countries of Uganda and Rwanda, according to the reports.
“WHO is supporting health authorities to investigate the new Ebola case,” Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa told the media yesterday.
“North Kivu has been battered by Ebola outbreaks during the past few years, but this has built up local expertise and community awareness, paving the way for a fast-moving response,” Dr Matshidiso added.
Between 2018 and 2020, the DRC experienced a long, complex and difficult Ebola outbreak which lasted for nearly two years which was the second largest in the world.
By the time it ended there were 3481 cases, 2299 deaths and 1162 survivors, according to the Ministry of Health in DRC.
For the previous outbreaks, Rwanda has been on alert to avert any possible exposure to the Ebola virus following DRC confirmation of cases in the eastern town of Goma, also bordering Rwanda.
There has not been no Ebola case reported in Rwanda, according to the Ministry of health.