Twenty deaths and more than 50 cases of Ebola in western DRC: WHO

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Ebola is spreading in the western Democratic Republic of Congo near the border with Central African Republic with 20 deaths and 48 cases registered with three suspect cases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Local health officials have been monitoring the situation since the first cases were discovered on 1 June in Equateur province, which includes part of the Congo River.

“I would caution everyone that while the numbers in this event are low, again in the era of Covid-19 it is very important that we do not take our eyes off these other emerging diseases and we saw in North Kivu and other previous outbreaks of Ebola that these can get out of control very easily,” said Mike Ryan, WHO emergencies head.

He was referring to another outbreak on the other side of the country in the Ituri and North Kivu regions in eastern DRC that was declared finished in June. That two-year epidemic killed 2,277 people, the second-largest outbreak on record.