Second Ebola death in one week reported in Democratic Republic of Congo

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Feb. 11 (UPI) — A second Ebola death in the Democratic Republic of Congo was reported Thursday amid a resurgence of the disease.

A 60-year-old woman from the Biena health zone, the same area where the first death was reported, became the second person to die of the disease within a week months after the last major outbreak was declared over.

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“It is unfortunate that both cases in the recent outbreak have been discovered after the people have died. What this means is that we are not clear about the magnitude of what we could be dealing with,” said Anne-Marie Connor, World Vision’s national director to the DRC.

The first death was reported on Sunday after the National Institute of Biomedical Research had tested samples taken from a 42-year-old woman who exhibited Ebola-like symptoms after she had sought medical attention and her results came back positive for the disease.

More than 70 contacts of the first victim had been identified as of Sunday and workers began disinfecting sites she had visited. It was unclear if the two victims had been in contact.

The cases have sprung up around the city of Butembo in North Kivu province where the virus had killed 2,299 people over the last two years in the outbreak ending in June.

World Health Organization epidemiologists are investigating the new cases and the organization said it is not uncommon for sporadic cases to pop up following a major outbreak as was seen in eastern DRC.