KINSHASA, CONGO—At least four new cases of the Ebola virus have emerged in Congo's northeast, just a week after an outbreak in the northwest was declared over, the country's health ministry said Wednesday.
There was no indication the two outbreaks, separated by more than 2,500 kilometres, are related, Health Minister Dr. Oly Ilunga Kalenga said in a statement.
"Although we did not expect to face a tenth epidemic so early, the detection of the virus is an indicator of the proper functioning of the surveillance system," Kalenga said.
Ebola, first identified in 1976 in Congo, jumps to humans from animals including bats and monkeys. It spreads through contact with bodily fluids of those infected, including the dead.
The North Kivu health division notified the health ministry on Saturday of 26 cases of hemorrhagic fever, including 20 deaths in North Kivu province, the ministry said. Four of six samples sent for analysis to the National Institute of Biological Research in Kinshasa, the capital, came back positive for Ebola, the ministry said.
The new cases are in Mangina in the eastern Mabalako health zone within the Beni region.