Ebola Virus Returns: Latest Outbreak in Congo Kills 17

Ebola outbreak confirmed in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Congo's ministry of health said in a statement on Tuesday that two cases of the virus have been confirmed by laboratory tests following 21 patients displaying signs of hemorrhagic fever in Ikoko Impenge, near the town of Bikoro, in the central African nation.

It said of the five samples sent to the National Institute of Biological Research in Kinshasa, two came back positive for Ebola. The team found 5 cases, 2 of whom were hospitalized at Bikoro General Hospital and 3 at the Ikoko Impenge Health Center.

A team of experts will go to Bikoro on Wednesday to implement measures to avoid further spread of the disease, said the ministry statement.

Since 1976, this is the ninth outbreak of Ebola in Congo. The virus is transmitted to individuals from wild animals and spreads within the human inhabitants by means of human-to-human transmission. Other outbreaks in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea started in 2014 and killed over eleven thousand deaths in their wake.

"Our country is facing a new epidemic of Ebola that is a public health emergency of global concern".

The virus is also spread person-to-person in the blood, body fluids or organs of someone with the infection.

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After Congo's last Ebola flare-up, authorities there approved the use of a new experimental vaccine but in the end did not deploy it owing to logistical challenges and the relatively minor nature of the outbreak.

The WHO stated it's once more working carefully with the federal government to quickly scale up its operations and mobilize well being companions, together with Medicin sans Frontieres (Medical doctors With out Borders), utilizing its mannequin of a profitable response to the Ebola outbreak of 2017.

"We still dispose of the well trained human resources that were able to rapidly control previous epidemics", it said.

World Health Organization said it had released $1m (£740,000) from its Contingency Fund for Emergencies to support response activities for the next three months with the goal of stopping the spread of Ebola to surrounding provinces and countries.

Early symptoms of Ebola include fever, muscle pain, and fatigue followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rashes and bleeding - both internal and external - apparent in the gums, eyes, nasal passages and faeces.

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