Second Ebola death in DR Congo ahead of hoped-for deadline

A scanning electron micrograph of Ebola virus budding from a cell (African green monkey kidney epithelial cell line). Credit: NIAID

A second death from Ebola has been recorded in eastern DR Congo in the final days before a deadline, now scrapped, in which health authorities hoped to declare an end to a 20-month epidemic.

Hopes had been high that the World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday would officially bring the curtain down on the country's 10th known outbreak of the notorious haemorrhagic fever.

But on Friday, a 26-year-old man was listed as having died from the disease, and a young girl who was being treated in the same health centre passed away on Sunday.

Both died in the city of Beni, an epicentre of the outbreak, the said late Sunday.

The epidemic, which began in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on August 1 2018, has claimed 2,276 lives, according to an official tally.

The outbreak can only be declared officially over after 52 days without any new cases, which is equal to twice the virus' .

The DRC has so far recorded 20 deaths out of 234 known cases of coronavirus, almost all of them in the capital KInshasa.

© 2020 AFP

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