Authorities in Congo are reporting a new outbreak of Ebola in the western part of the African nation on Monday.
The World Health Organization said it already has a “surge team” on the ground in the city of Mbandaka, where six cases of the deadly virus have been identified, according to a statement Monday. Four of those victims have died and two are still being treated.
“This is a reminder that COVID-19 is not the only health threat people face,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. “Although much of our attention is on the pandemic, WHO is continuing to monitor and respond to many other health emergencies.”
Mbandaka, a city of 1.5 million people on the Congo River, is about 620 miles from North Kivu province, where an earlier and ongoing outbreak of Ebola has killed more than 2,200.
The new outbreak is the eleventh in the Democratic Republic of Congo since the initial outbreak of the virus near the Ebola River in 1976.
There have been three Ebola outbreaks since 2017 in Congo, which is currently also battling a measles epidemic that has killed more than 6,700 people and the coronavirus pandemic, which infected more than 3,000 and killed 72.
“It’s happening at a challenging time, but WHO has worked over the last two years with health authorities, Africa CDC and other partners to strengthen national capacity to respond to outbreaks,” Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s regional director for Africa, said in the statement.
“To reinforce local leadership, WHO plans to send a team to support scaling up the response,” Moeti said. “Given the proximity of this new outbreak to busy transport routes and vulnerable neighboring countries, we must act quickly.”
Ebola is a potentially fatal virus that causes hemorrhagic fever, and severe vomiting and diarrhea. It spreads through contact with body fluids from an infected person.
With Post wires