Published: Fri, May 11, 2018
Medical | By Alyssa Little

More Ebola cases detected in DR Congo

More Ebola cases detected in DR Congo

A new outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) was declared on Tuesday by the DRC government, after two samples tested positive for EVD in Bikoro, Equateur Province.

The World Health Organization and officials from other global health groups are in the area to help contain the spread of the deadly virus.

The disease is believed to be spread by bats, who can incubate the virus without being affected by it.

The latest outbreak comes less than a year after the DRC's last recorded Ebola outbreak in May last year.

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The aggressive Ebola epidemic, which triggered global alerts between 2013 and 2016 was the most widespread outbreak of the virus, killing more than 11,300 people and infecting almost 30,000 others.

The move is coming at a time when preparations are into gear for the friendly match between Nigeria's Super Eagles and the DR. Congo national team scheduled to hold later this month in Port Harcourt.

Congo's health ministry on Tuesday, May 8, described the fresh outbreak as a "public health emergency with worldwide impact".

From July 1, 2017, to February 20, 2018, Brazil has confirmed 545 cases of yellow fever, with 164 deaths. Similar measures helped Africa's most populous country contain the virus during the West African epidemic that began in 2013.

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Emergency teams have already been dispatched by WHO, Médecins Sans Frontières and Provincial Division of Health. The virus was first discovered there in 1976 (when the country was known as Zaire) and is named after the Ebola river.

It is vital we are ready to respond rapidly when outbreaks are detected, which is why the United Kingdom is the second largest contributor to the WHO's Contingency Fund for Emergencies, from which $1 million has already been mobilised to respond to this outbreak. It is transmitted to people from wild animals and can be spread from human to human.

World Health Organization says it is working closely with the government of the DRC to combat the outbreak using the model of a successful response used previous year.

The 2014 global Ebola response drew criticism for moving too slowly and prompted an apology from the WHO.

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