Officials in Congo testing for Ebola after 2 deaths

Two dead of Ebola in Congo; officials believe strain is unrelated to West Africa outbreak

Officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo are testing additional patients for Ebola, after two Ebola deaths were confirmed in a remote village in the Central African country over the weekend.

Congo’s health minister said Sunday that two Ebola deaths had been confirmed in Equateur province, in the northwest, the Associated Press reported, but said the infections were from a different strain than those in the Ebola outbreak that has swept through West Africa.

Health officials in Congo are conducting additional tests to identify the specific strain of the cases there, the World Health Organization said via Twitter.

There are as many as 24 cases of unspecified hemorrhagic fever that officials suspect are Ebola, said WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic via email. It was unclear how many additional samples the government was testing.

Jasarevic said the Congolese cases appeared to be of an “indigenous strain” unrelated to the West African outbreak.

Officials in Congo believe Ebola has caused 13 deaths in the region, including those of five healthcare workers, according to the Associated Press.

Congo is no stranger to Ebola, including the deadly strain that is affecting West Africa. The first known outbreak of Ebola occurred simultaneously in Congo and Sudan. The last Ebola outbreak in Congo occurred in 2012, and was declared over in November of that year.

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