(Photo: EPA/VNA)

The epidemic was spreading around the city of Beni, in North Kivu province, just one week after the outbreak was declared over in the northwest part of the country which killed 33 people.

Four cases have been positively identified and more are likely, Congo’s Health Minister, Dr. Oly Ilunga Kalenga, said in a statement on August 4th.

“Just a week after announcing the end of the ninth epidemic of Ebola virus disease in the Equator Province, the DRC is facing a new epidemic," Kalenga said. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) said its response to the earlier outbreak had decidedly helped curtail any spread. Its head and senior officials were on ground to help the DRC contain and fight the virus.

The first reported case of Ebola occurred in the DRC in 1976 in an outbreak that killed at least 280 people.

The worst Ebola epidemic ended in West Africa two years ago, after killing more than 11,300 people and infecting about 28,600 across Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Ebola, one of the deadliest viruses known to man, is spread through direct contact, and it can also be transmitted through sexual contact or unprotected handling of contaminated corpses.

There is no specific treatment for Ebola, which is spread through the bodily fluids of people exhibiting symptoms.

The WHO has warned that this new outbreak of the deadly virus in North Kivu province poses a particular challenge as the region is a “war zone” with several active armed groups and thousands of displaced people./.

Compiled by BTA