New Ebola case detected in eastern Congo

A new case of the Ebola virus has been detected in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo near the city of Butembo, and the infected person has died, the health ministry said on Sunday (February 7).

A woman was found with symptoms of the deadly virus in the town of Biena on February 1.

She died in hospital in Butembo two days later.

She was married to a man who had contracted the virus in a previous outbreak.

The announcement potentially marks the start of Congo's 12th Ebola outbreak since the virus was discovered near the Ebola River in 1976.

It comes nearly three months after Congo announced the end to its 11th outbreak hundreds of miles away in the west, which infected 130 people and killed 55.

That outbreak overlapped with an earlier one in the east that killed more than 2,200 people, the second-most in the disease's history.

The emergence of more cases could complicate efforts to eradicate COVID-19, which has infected over 23,000 people and killed almost 700 in Democratic Republic of Congo.

Congo's equatorial forests are a natural reservoir for the Ebola virus, which causes severe vomiting and diarrhea and is spread through contact with bodily fluids.