New cluster of Ebola cases found in the Democratic Republic of Congo

It comes just eight days after another outbreak was declared over

New cluster of Ebola cases found in the Democratic Republic of Congo

In this file photo, a healthcare worker from the World Health Organisation, left, gives an Ebola vaccination to a front line aid worker who will then go to vaccinate people who might potentially have the virus, in Mbandaka, Congo | Image: Sam Mednick/AP/Press Association Images

A new cluster of cases of the deadly Ebola virus has been found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The government there announced on Wednesday that preliminary results indicate the disease in North Kivu province.

This came just eight days after the Ministry of Health declared an official end of the Ebola outbreak in Equateur Province, some 2,500 km from North Kivu.

North-Kivu is an active conflict zone, and hosts over one million displaced people.

The province shares borders with Rwanda and Uganda, which sees a lot of cross-border movement due to the trade.

A total of 29 people died during the most recent outbreak, which was declared over when two weeks had passed without a new case emerging.

Concern was heightened in the early days of the outbreak, when cases emerged in a major urban area on the Congo River.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organisation (WHO), says: "Ebola is a constant threat in the DRC.

"What adds to our confidence in the country’s ability to respond is the transparency they have displayed once again.

"Working closely with the Ministry of Health and partners, we will fight this one as we did the last".

The WHO has been told that four out of six samples tested positive for Ebola virus at the Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale (INRB) in Kinshasa - but that further testing is ongoing.

"Since we are coming out of another Ebola outbreak, we have kept staff and equipment in place," says Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

"This allows us to have a head start in response to this cluster."

The majority of the cases are in the Mangina health area, which is 30 kilometres from the city of Beni.