AFP Oct. 16, 2014
WASHINGTON - An outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo this year came from a different source than the epidemic raging across West Africa, scientists said Wednesday.
Even though the two deadly Ebola outbreaks have separate animal origins, the report in the New England Journal of Medicine nevertheless raises concern about the emergence of the often fatal hemorrhagic fever across the African continent.
A Congolese barber cuts hair in Lokolia, on October 6, 2014, despite the authorities' order to avoid physical contact to stop the spread of Ebola (AFP Photo/Kathy Katayi)
Ebola was first identified in 1976, and had returned in waves. The latest outbreak in West Africa is history's largest, killing more than 4,400 people since the beginning of the year.
A separate, smaller outbreak in the DRC began over the summer, and has killed 49 people of the 69 believed infected between late July and October 7, the NEJM report said.
An analysis of the virus's genome showed that it is a type called Ebola Zaire, and is 99.2 percent related to a 1995 variant that emerged in Kikwit in the DRC.