Congo says its Ebola outbreak - separate from West Africa epidemic - now over

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KINSHASA, Congo — Congolese officials say its separate Ebola outbreak that killed dozens of people this year as an unrelated Ebola epidemic swept West Africa is now over.

Congo's Health Minister Felix Kabange Numbi made the announcement Saturday.

Authorities said that at least 49 people died, including eight health workers, since Ebola erupted in Equateur province in northwestern Congo in August.

The Congo outbreak came amid a regional epidemic that now has left more than 5,000 dead, but Congo's Ebola cases were not related to those in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

The hemorrhagic fever was first discovered in Congo back in 1976, and there have been sporadic outbreaks here over the years. It is not known how the virus first emerged in Guinea that sparked the epidemic.

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