Congo confirms 4 Ebola cases week after outbreak ends

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Four new cases of Ebola has been recorded in the northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) barely a week after authorities announced the end of an outbreak that started in mid-June in the northwest.

Julien Paluku, governor of North Kivu province, announced the outbreak on Twitter, just a week after Congolese and United Nations health officials announced the end of a separate outbreak that killed 33 people in the country's northwest. "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".

World Health Organization says this new outbreak in North Kivu province is 2,500 kilometers away from Equateur Province, the site of the previous outbreak, and there is no link between the two.

Officials said it was not yet clear whether the two Congo outbreaks separated by more than 2,500 kilometers (1,553 miles) are linked.

"This new cluster is occurring in an environment which is very different from where we were operating in the northwest", said Peter Salama, MD, WHO Deputy Director-General, Emergency Preparedness and Response. The province shares borders with Rwanda and Uganda with a great deal of cross border movement due to the trade activities.

The latest outbreak 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 outbreak is more than 1,500 miles from the earlier one on the opposite side of the country.

Ebola, believed to be spread over long distances by bats, causes hemorrhagic fever, vomiting and diarrhea and is spread through direct contact with body fluids.

In the worst outbreak of Ebola, the disease struck the West African states of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in 2013-2015, killing more than 11,300 people.

Congolese and global health officials were credited with responding rapidly to the last outbreak, including by deploying an experimental vaccine manufactured by Merck.

Concern heightened in the early days of the outbreak when cases emerged in a major urban area on the Congo River.