The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Sunday it’s closely monitoring the potential reemergence of Ebola in central Africa, after two Ebola deaths were recorded there within just a matter of days.
Health officials thought they had witnessed the end of the second-deadliest outbreak of the virus on record there, after not a single case had appeared in nearly seven weeks.
The WHO has since 2018 considered the DRC at hotspot for the deadly disease, potentially threatening surrounding countries and the rest of Africa. Ebola has killed over 2,200 since an outbreak began in August 2018. The country has been struggling since to get a handle on it.
Reuters reports of the new Ebola deaths:
The latest victim was an 11-month-old girl, who was treated at the same health center as the previous case, a 26-year-old electrician, said Boubacar Diallo, deputy incident manager for the WHO’s Ebola response.
It is not yet clear how the electrician contracted Ebola. He had no known contacts with other Ebola patients and was not a survivor of the virus who could have relapsed, the government said on Friday.
Health officials say they are close tracking some 200 people who may have been exposed to the electrician.
It was over this weekend starting on Saturday that the Ebola outbreak in the DRC had been declared to the ‘over’. Sunday was officially supposed to mark the end of the final waiting period in which no new cases emerged. But the joy and relief was very short-lived.
“The World Health Organization (WHO) is set to declare the outbreak over on April 12 – the date marking double the disease’s 21-day incubation period since the departure of the last patient – if no other cases emerge,” Al-Jazeera reported Saturday.
The country has already been under emergency lockdown orders since late March due to the threat of coronavirus. DR Congo has at least 234 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 20 deaths.