There has been a new outbreak of this deadly infectious disease

There has been a new outbreak of the deadly infectious disease Ebola, four months after the last one ended.

A new Ebola outbreak has been declared by health authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, four months after the last one ended.

What is Ebola?

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, Ebola is a hemorrhagic fever virus that causes problems with how your blood clots. The clotting problems then lead to internal bleeding, as blood leaks from small blood vessels in your body. The virus also causes inflammation and tissue damage.

Ebola is transmitted by coming into contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person or contaminated materials. Early symptoms include muscle aches and a fever.

The declaration of a new outbreak came after a case was confirmed in the city of Mbandaka, in the northwestern Equateur Province, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement on Saturday. A 31-year-old-man was admitted to an Ebola treatment centre on Thursday, but died hours later.

This is the third outbreak in the province since 2018 and the 14th Ebola outbreak for the country since 1976, which is when the virus was first discovered, the WHO said.

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A new outbreak of this deadly infectious disease Mufid Majnun / Unsplash

'Time is not on our side'

The World Health Organisation's regional director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, said:

Time is not on our side. The disease has had a two-week head start and we are now playing catch-up. The positive news is that health authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have more experience than anyone else in the world at controlling Ebola outbreaks quickly.

So far, only one case has been confirmed. The patient who died has received 'a safe and dignified burial,' more than 70 of his contacts are being traced, and the health facility where the patient received care has been decontaminated.

The organisation said:

Efforts to stem the current outbreak are already underway.

Vaccinations will begin in the coming days. Moeti said:

Many people in Mbandaka are already vaccinated against Ebola, which should help reduce the impact of the disease. All those who were vaccinated during the 2020 outbreak will be revaccinated.

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