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WHO says woman's Ebola death in hospital was 'trigger event'

WHO’s emergency response chief Peter Salama said seven of the woman’s immediate family later also died from Ebola-like symptoms, and potential cases were now being traced in 10 localities.

FILE: A health worker prepares a vaccination at a health center in Conakry during the first clinical trials of the VSV-EBOV vaccine against the Ebola virus. Picture: AFP

GENEVA - The death and unsafe burial of a 65-year-old woman in Mangina in the Democratic Republic of Congo was the critical event that set alarm bells ringing in the latest Ebola outbreak in late July, the World Health Organisation said on Friday.

WHO’s emergency response chief Peter Salama said seven of the woman’s immediate family later also died from Ebola-like symptoms, and potential cases were now being traced in 10 localities.

Apart from Mangina in North Kivu province, there were now suspected cases in the local town of Beni and neighbouring Ituri province, Salama told a regular UN briefing in Geneva.