KINSHASA (Reuters) - The Democratic Republic of Congo has recorded up to 17 Ebola cases in a new outbreak of the deadly virus in the western province of Equateur, and 11 of those infected have died, medical authorities said on Monday.
The authorities had reported 12 infections last week in the central African country, whose dilapidated health system is also combating a measles epidemic that has killed over 6,000 people and COVID-19, which has infected over 4,800 and killed 112.
The National Institute of Biomedical Research said in its daily report that there had now been 14 confirmed Ebola cases and three probable cases since a cluster of infections were confirmed in the city of Mbandaka on June 1.
The Ebola cases have been confirmed in seven health zones across Equateur, including two cases in Bolomba, 300 km (186 miles) northeast of Mbandaka, the World Health Organization said in an update.
The WHO said more than 2,500 people have been vaccinated across the province. Vaccination helped control an Ebola outbreak 1,000 km away in the east of the country which has killed more than 2,200 since 2018.
Genetic sequencing shows the new outbreak of Ebola, a virus that was discovered near northern Congo’s Ebola River in 1976, is not linked to the one in the east.
(Replaces word “Two” at the start of paragraph 4 with “The” to show all the cases have been confirmed in seven health zones, not just two of them).
Reporting by Hereward Holland; Editing by Juliette Jabkhiro and Timothy Heritage