The Democratic Republic of Congo reported Sunday that a woman died of Ebola, three months after the country declared an end to a previous outbreak.
The woman's husband had contracted the disease and survived in the previous 2020 outbreak. Samples from the hospital in Butembo, in the northeastern part of the country, were being sent to the capital, Kinshasa, to determine whether her illness is linked to the previous outbreak or constitutes a new one.
UNICEF identified the woman as a 42-year-old mother in a statement released Sunday, adding that its staff was on the ground in the state of North Kivu to assist local health care workers to “mobilize the community response.”
The U.N. organization for children also added that it would assist in transporting necessary medical supplies from the state of Equateur, where the previous outbreak of Ebola was declared finished in November after 55 people had died.
More than 2,200 people died of Ebola in the region between 2018 and 2020.
"It is not unusual for sporadic cases to occur following a major outbreak,” the World Health Organization said Sunday.
The news comes as the country, like much of the world, battles the coronavirus pandemic.
The Ebola virus, formerly known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a rare but severe and often fatal illness that spreads through direct contact with bodily fluids, triggering severe vomiting and diarrhea.