As a result of a new Ebola outbreak that has flared-up in the Democratic Republic of Congo, five people have died. That information was revealed on Monday by the United Nations Children's fund, with further reports adding that there have been a total of nine cases so far. These deaths had occurred up to nearly two weeks ago, but it wasn't confirmed until Sunday that they were caused by the virus.
"Four additional people who contracted the virus -- all contacts of the deceased and including [a 15-year-old child] of one of the fatal cases -- are being treated in an isolation unit at the Wangata Hospital in Mbandaka," said UNICEF in a press release.
"The deaths occurred between the 18th and 30th of May but they were only confirmed as Ebola-related yesterday."
Also on Monday the Director of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, tweeted out that six cases had come from the city of Mbandaka. His pair of tweets add that WHO staff is already at the scene.
CNN reports that the country has seen 11 outbreaks of the Ebola virus since it was first characterized in the mid-'70s. That illness, which spreads via bodily fluids, can have a fatality rate from anywhere between 25 and 90 percent.
This most recent news comes as The Democratic Republic of Congo is close to stamping out an outbreak that began in 2018 in a different section of the country. According to WHO, that breakout has resulted in 3,406 cases, and 2,243 deaths, though there have been no reports of a new case over the past three weeks. Ebola's incubation period is 21 days, which means things may have stabilized, though WHO would like to get through two full incubation periods before declaring it over.
"The announcement comes as a long, difficult and complex Ebola outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo is in its final phase, while the country also battles COVID-19 and the world's largest measles outbreak," WHO said via statement.
As mentioned in that statement the DRC, like pretty much the rest of the world, is dealing with COVID-19. There have been 3,195 total cases, and 72 deaths, attributed to the coronavirus within their borders. Worse still, they're also dealing with an active measles epidemic that has infected close to 370,000, and killed nearly 6,800, since it broke out last year.