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DRC confirms second Ebola case, per media report

A second Ebola case has been confirmed in the latest outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a city health official from the city of Beni told Reuters.

The latest case involves a 42-year-old woman who tested positive yesterday, according to Michel Tosalisana, the health official from Beni, where a cluster of cases was recently reported. They include a 2-year-old boy, whose fatal illness was confirmed, and three suspected cases—the boy's neighbors—who died earlier after experiencing similar symptoms.

Beni was one of the epicenters in a large outbreak in North Kivu province that occurred from 2018 to 2020. The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that sporadic recurrent cases are expected, given Ebola persistence in some survivors and that animal species found in the DRC harbor the virus.

So far, it's not clear if the latest flare-up is linked to earlier human cases. North Kivu province experienced a smaller recurrence earlier this year that appeared to be linked to the large event, though the source of the outbreak was never found. Genetic sequencing is under way on samples from the boy who died, with results expected this week.

Yesterday, health officials launched an Ebola vaccination campaign in Beni targeting the boy's contacts and the contacts of those contacts.

[Source: CIDRAP, The University of Minnesota, 14Oct21]

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