Ebola in Equateur Province is a New Spillover Event
On the same day that the 42 day countdown to the end of the Ebola epidemic was started in the Deomcratic Republic of Congo another outbreak began in Equateur Province.
On May 31st the World Health Organisation received notification that between May 18th and May 30th four deaths had been reported in Mbandaka city, Equateur Province, the Democratic Republic of the Congo. All of the patients had suffered with symptoms of fever and bleeding prior to their deaths. On May 31st two more cases were reported, these were relatives of one of the four initial cases, and as of June 8th there have been 12 cases and 8 deaths reported.
Equateur Province last had an Ebola outbreak in 2018, and in order to ascertain if this recent outbreak could have been seeded from the recent Nord Kivu/Ituri outbreak (Ituri), from the May 2018 Équateur province outbreak (Tumba) via a persistent source, or a new spillover event from the reservoir host samples were sent to Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale (INRB) in Kinshasa for confirmatory testing.
After testing and phylogentic analysis is has been determined that this genome likely represents a new spillover event and the 11th EVD outbreak in the DRC, the third outbreak in two years. More thorough analysis is due to be undertaken over the coming days.