Ebola case found in DR Congo five months after last epidemic outbreak

17:35, 09 October 2021
Ebola case found in DR Congo five months after last epidemic outbreak Photo: Markus Heine/

A child, 3, was tested positive for Ebola and died in eastern DR Congo on Wednesday five months after the Ebola epidemic had been declared over in the country, the Congolese Health Minister of Jean Jacques Mbungani said in a statement on Friday. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that they have started to investigate the case.

The child lived in the city of Beni, which was one of the epicenters of the 2018-2020 outbreak of the fatal disease. 

Ebola virus is transmitted via contact with fluids and clothes. Among its symptoms there are muscle pains, high temperature, sickness, and diarrhea. During the final stages, patients can experience blood vomiting and bleeding. The disease is highly lethal and kills almost half of the contaminated population.

DR Congo has faced 12 outbreaks of Ebola since 1976 when it was first discovered near the Ebola river.

The last cases were recorded in February 2021 in the North Kivu region that experienced the deadliest outbreak of Ebola in the country’s history between August 2018 and June 2020 – 2,287 deaths and 3,470 infections.

On September 15 Johnson & Johnson introduced a new two-dose Ebola vaccine. According to the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, the vaccine showed a strong immune response among trial participants which could guarantee protection for two years.