Health workers on duty in Mangina (image courtesy AFP)

Health authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo say 164 people have died from the Ebola outbreak in the eastern part of the central African nation.

Authorities in the country had in mid October said they were facing a “second wave” of the outbreak centred on Beni, a town in North Kivu near the border with Uganda.

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The epicentre had earlier been focused on Mangina, a town around 20 kilometres (12 miles) from Beni.

At least 257 cases had been recorded in the region, of which 222 were confirmed and 35 were probable, since the start of the outbreak at the beginning of August, the Congolese Health Ministry said in a bulletin dated Friday.

The World Health Organization had said that the death toll stood at 139 before now, although it said the outbreak did not yet merit being labelled a global health emergency.

The second wave of the deadly virus has been attributed to community resistance to measures already taken to tackle the disease.