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At least 17 people have died in an area of northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo where health officials have now confirmed an outbreak of Ebola, the health ministry said on Tuesday.

It is the ninth time Ebola has been recorded in the central African nation, whose eastern Ebola river gave the deadly virus its name when it was discovered there in the 1970s, and comes less than a year after its last outbreak during which eight people were infected, four of whom died.

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