A suspected Ebola outbreak in Central Africa has been traced to a pregnant woman who butchered a slain bush animal that had been given to her husband, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.
The Health Ministry in the Democratic Republic of Congo said Sunday that two samples taken from a remote village in the northwestern province of Equateur had tested positive for the deadly virus, but added that the infections were from a different strain than the one that has killed more than 1,400 people in four West African countries.
A total of 24 suspected Ebola cases were identified in Congo between July 28 and Aug. 18, including 13 people who died, the WHO said. Samples have been sent to laboratories in the Congolese capital, Kinshasa, and the nearby nation of Gabon to confirm the presence of Ebola and verify the strain, the United Nations health agency said in a statement.
If confirmed, this would be the seventh Ebola outbreak in Congo since 1976, when the disease was first reported.