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The Ebola epidemic spreads in a new city in the Congo hit by the conflict News | DW

The Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) confirmed on Wednesday a case of deadly Ebola virus in Bunia, the second largest city in the east of the country with a population of almost one million people.

The patient is a child of six months. The health ministry said parents "seem to be in good health". The ministry initiated an investigation to determine how the child was infected.

Public health authorities have registered very few cases of infected children. Since Ebola is often transmitted by infected blood or body fluids, health experts generally believe that newborns, infants and children contract the virus through breast milk or close contact with infected parents.

Read more: From Haiti to Madagascar: the forgotten crises of the world

An Ebola survivor sits next to her newborn son

Public health authorities have succeeded in largely preventing Ebola transmission to newborns during the 2014 West African epidemic

Under attack

The DRC has been hit by the second most deadly Ebola epidemic, with over 600 people killed by the virus since last August.

The worst epidemic was the 2013-16 epidemic in West Africa, which is believed to have killed more than 11,000 people.

Emergency response teams have had difficult times, partly due to poor security in the region and the community's resistance to their work. Several Ebola treatment centers have been attacked by armed men, prompting Doctors Without Borders (MSF) to suspend its activities.

Ebola is a rare and highly infectious virus, with a mortality rate of up to 90%, according to the WHO. Symptoms include fever, intense weakness and vomiting. The incubation period varies from two to 21 days.

Read more: The DRC neighbors are still alert to the Ebola virus

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ls / rc (Reuters, dpa)

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