The first confirmed cases of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s South Kivu province was announced on Friday (August 16) days after a “highly probable cure” was found.
Two cases, a mother and her child tested positive for Ebola in Mwenga region, close to the provincial capital of Bukavu. Reports indicate that the mother has since died.
Théo Ngwabidje, South Kivu Governor told the media: “The victim died. It’s a woman. And one of her children, an infant, is declared positive, but alive, and is being cared for at the moment.”
The deceased is reported to have made several trips to Beni, one of the affected towns in North Kivu province. Until now, the disease had mostly been confined to North Kivu and Ituri provinces. Two deaths occured in Uganda in June.
The development is expected to worry authorities in neighboring Burundi, who began immunizing medical workers on Wednesday.
The World Health Organisation said it had sent teams to provide treatment, trace contacts and carry out vaccinations.
With over 1900 dead, the outbreak is the second deadliest on record, after more than 11,000 people were killed in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia between 2014-2016.