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WHO declares Ebola outbreak in DR Congo


2017-05-13

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The WHO says at least one person has died after contracting the virus in the country’s north-east.

The Congolese health ministry had notified the WHO of a “lab-confirmed case” of Ebola.

More than 11,000 people died in the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014-2015, mainly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

The last outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo was in 2014 and killed more than 40 people.

Of the nine people suspected to have contracted the deadly virus, three died, with one case of Ebola confirmed through tests at the national laboratory in the capital Kinshasa.

The region affected lies 1,300km north-east of Kinshasa, close to the border with the Central African Republic.

The WHO described the outbreak as “a public health crisis of international importance”.

It said the first teams of experts, including epidemiologists, biologists and hygiene specialists had been dispatched and were due to arrive in the affected region over the weekend.