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Thursday
May102018

One suspected death in new Ebola outbreak, officials say

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- One person is suspected to have died in a fresh outbreak of the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo, officials said on Thursday.

Thus far, 11 suspected cases of haemorrhagic fever have been recorded, including two laboratory-confirmed Ebola cases, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s health ministry said in a statement. There are several types of haemorrhagic fever besides Ebola, meaning not all suspected cases are that specific virus.

Three health professionals are among those suspected to be infected, officials said.

Medical teams from the government, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Doctors Without Borders, a frontline medical charity, traveled Tuesday to the area of the latest outbreak to investigate and assist with containment.

This is the ninth cycle of Ebola recorded in the DRC. The disease was discovered in 1976 and named after the eponymous Ebola River that cuts across the north of the country.

The disease is believed to be spread by bats, who can incubate the virus without being affected by it. The bats can then infect other animals living in the same trees, such as monkeys.

The aggressive Ebola epidemic, which triggered international alerts between 2013 and 2016, was the most widespread outbreak of the virus, killing more than 11,300 people and infecting nearly 30,000 others. The virus spread across the West African coast through Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Small outbreaks caused by passenger travel out of the contaminated areas, including a humanitarian worker being evacuated back home, were recorded in the U.S., U.K., Sardinia and Senegal.

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