Is a Deadlier Ebola Strain on the Horizon?

The WHO declared the end of the Ebola outbreak in eastern DRC Thursday—but warned that new flare-ups of that strain could still emerge.

With another Ebola strain now circulating in the northwest of the country, there is mounting concern that if the 2 strains combine—likely via population migration—they could form a new, even more dangerous Ebola strain. 

As of June 20, there have been 23 cases and 13 deaths from the new northwestern strain.

The fresh outbreak also raises questions about whether Ebola survivors could contract the new strain, which is genetically unrelated to the one that ravaged eastern DRC.

Still, researchers hope that the existing Ebola vaccine could also protect people from the strain emerging in the northwest.

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