Health officials in eastern Congo have documented the first relapse of the current Ebola epidemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.

The Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo has so far infected more than 3,300 people and killed more than 2,200 since the middle of last year, making it the second-worst on record.

This recent relapse happened in the Aloya district where a motorcycle taxi operator is said to have come into contact with 33 people potentially the cause of 11 new confirmed Ebola cases in the past week, according to the WHO.

Despite the development of an effective vaccine and treatments, a recent surge in violence by rebel militias and criminal bands near Congo’s borders with Uganda and Rwanda has hampered efforts to contain the outbreak.

David Gressly, the coordinator of the United Nations Emergency Response Office against Ebola, visited the village on Friday and spoke with local administrators on strategies to prevent the further spread of the disease. Gressly was accompanied by General Bernard Commins, his principal adviser on security from the head of the Monusco office in Beni.

Djafar Sabti, Edwin Waita, Okwi Okoh

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