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The number of suspected cases of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo grew to 42, shortly after healthcare officials confirmed the new outbreak’s first two infections last week.
The outbreak was confirmed in the town of Bikoro by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Congo’s Health Ministry.
At least 19 people have already died of suspected Ebola infections in Bikoro in the past five weeks the WHO said Monday, according to Bloomberg. The source of the outbreak has not yet been determined by healthcare officials. At least two patients confirmed to be positive for the virus are still alive in the region.
Congo is awaiting the arrival of 4,000 doses of an experimental Ebola vaccine, which will be shipped as soon as adequate travel logistics can be arranged to keep the shipment sufficiently cold in order to preserve the vaccines.
In the wake of this new outbreak, the WHO has set up its Incident Management System, sending more than 50 health experts and resources to Congo to further investigate the new spread of the virus. The health agency is also releasing $1 million from its Contingency Fund for Emergencies in an effort to stop Ebola from spreading to nearby areas and countries.
In 2014, a particularly deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa claimed the lives of more than 11,000 victims.
Featured image by KATHY KATAYI/AFP/Getty Images.
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