Goma - A new outbreak of Ebola has been detected in north-eastern Congo only a week after the most recent outbreak in a different part of the country was declared over, the country's health ministry said Wednesday.
By July 28, health officials had reported 26 cases of haemorrhagic fever in the eastern North Kivu province, of which 20 patients died, the ministry said in a statement.
Out of the six surviving patients four tested positive for Ebola, the ministry said, adding that efforts were under way to identify the strain of the virus.
The first deaths were reported in early July in the village of Mangina, near the town of Beni, local administrator Donat Kibwana said.
According to the provincial health ministry, the World Health Organization (WHO) has already deployed a team of experts to the area.
On July 24, Congo officially declared over a recent Ebola outbreak, which began in May in Equator Province and saw a total of 54 cases, of which 33 people died.
Equator Province is located more than 2,500 kilometres from North Kivu and there was no indication that the two epidemics were related, according to the health ministry.
Ebola, a highly infectious disease that causes a fever, often leads to massive internal bleeding and fatalities.
During the last major Ebola outbreak in 2014, 11,000 died when the virus spread across the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.