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Updated: Feb. 21, 2019

On August 1, tests confirmed that a new outbreak of Ebola is occurring in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The announcement of the outbreak, near the country’s eastern borders, follows a declaration one week earlier that an outbreak of the virus in western, Equateur province, had ended. Like the preceding outbreak, the latest spread of Ebola in the DCR is affecting multiple locations, has infected health workers, and has the potential to cross national borders. Infrastructure gaps in power supplies and roadways are presenting challenges. Responses to the new Ebola outbreak are further challenged by armed conflict, which World Health Organization officials have said will necessitate military escort for efforts to trace contacts of infected individuals, and their contacts, as well as efforts to administer an investigational vaccine. While WHO has assessed the risk of global spread of the virus from this outbreak as low, WHO officials say the risks of national and regional spread are high.

The outbreak in North Kivu is the 10th outbreak of the virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo since the disease was identified there, in what was then Zaire, in the 1970s.

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