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Congo says its first Ebola cases are unrelated to West Africa epidemic

Published on Aug 25, 2014 1:32 AM
Residents, who are in an Ebola quarantine area, complain to a security officer as they wait for their relatives to bring them food and essentials, in West Point, Monrovia in Liberia on  August 23, 2014. The Democratic Republic of Congo says its Ebola cases are unrelated to the epidemic ravaging the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

KINSHASA (AFP) - The Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday confirmed its first two cases this year of Ebola but claimed they were unrelated to the epidemic ravaging West Africa.

“The results are positive. The Ebola virus is confirmed in DRC,” Health Minister Felix Kabange Numbi told AFP, referring to tests undertaken on people after an unidentified fever killed 13 in the northwest Equateur province this month.

“After analysing eight samples taken in the field, the National Institute of Biomedical Research has just confirmed that two of those samples test positive for Ebola,” Kabanga said later on public television.

He said the confirmation marked the seventh outbreak of Ebola in DR Congo, where the virus was first identified in 1976 near the Ebola River.

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