The 2018-2020 Ebola outbreak killed nearly 2,300 people, the second-highest number of deaths on record.
A new case of Ebola haemorrhagic fever has been confirmed in northwestern Democratic Republic of the Congo, four months after the end of the last outbreak in the country.
The National Institute for Biomedical Research said on Saturday that a 31-year-old man was detected in the city of Mbandaka, capital of Congo’s Equateur province.
The patient’s symptoms began on April 5, but he did not seek treatment for more than a week. He was admitted to an Ebola treatment center on April 21 and died the same day, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement.
“Time is not on our side,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa.
“The disease has had a two-week head start and now we are catching up,” Moeti said.
The WHO said efforts to contain the disease are already underway in Mbandaka, a crowded commercial hub on the banks of the Congo River, where people live in close proximity. The city has road, water and air connections with the capital Kinshasa.
Congo has seen 13 previous Ebola outbreaks, and Mbandaka has faced two, in 2018 and 2020.
The 2018-2020 Ebola outbreak in the east of the country killed nearly 2,300 people, the second-highest figure ever recorded for hemorrhagic fever.
The latest outbreak, also in the east of the country, infected 11 people between October and December and killed six of them.