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The Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) announced last week that tests of cases in the country's North Kivu province by the Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale (INRB) revealed Ebola in patients.

Four more people have died from Ebola in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, two weeks after another outbreak that killed 33 people in the northwest was declared over, the Congolese health ministry has said.

World Health Organization has said 3,000 doses of the vaccine are still in DR Congo's capital, Kinshasa, and that it can access up to 300,000 more on short notice.

Barthe Ndjoloko, who oversees the health ministry's Ebola response, said officials are working round-the-clock to identify those who may be infected. This is the third outbreak in the DRC this year.

An additional 43 suspected cases of Ebola were reported, including 13 confirmed by lab testing, according to WHO.

DRC authorities still have on hand thousands of doses of the Merck vaccine, Reuters reports.

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The outbreak is spreading through five health zones in North Kivu province and one health zone in Ituri province, which poses geographic and political challenges, the WHO said.

"Since we are coming out of another Ebola outbreak, we have kept staff and equipment in place", Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO's regional director for Africa, said.

"This is an active conflict zone".

Complications surround the fact that the new outbreak is in North Kivu province, a region where over 100 armed groups are believed to operate. The major barrier will be safely accessing the affected population'. Individuals frequently cross the border for trade, which, combined with humanitarian and security issues in the region, could make the outbreak harder to contain. "The bad news is that this is the deadliest variant, with a case fatality rate of over 50 per cent", said WHO's Head of Emergencies, Peter Salama, at a briefing in Geneva, Switzerland, on 5 August.

Despite that Ebola is never an easy illness to combat, the current outbreak is much more hard than previous ones primarily because of the location in which it appeared.


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