Northwest Congo hospital has four new suspected Ebola cases

Northwest Congo hospital has four new suspected Ebola cases

The health ministry said on Tuesday that at least 17 people had died in an area of northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo where health officials have now confirmed an outbreak of Ebola.

Ebola is endemic to Congo, a vast country whose eastern Ebola river gave the deadly virus its name when it was discovered there in the 1970s.

Two out of five samples collected tested positive for a Zaire strain of Ebola at the Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale in Kinshasa.

We're well-practiced in responding to disease outbreaks, and are coordinating across government to support the World Health Organization in their leadership of the response.

"Following the outbreak of Ebola in DRC and as per the worldwide health regulations we are now conducting routine screening of all travelers at points of entry", said Kariuki in a notice seen by TUKO.co.ke.

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"The action plan prepared by the health ministry has been approved", an official statement released after a cabinet meeting said. There have been no further reports of deaths.

The outbreak occurred in Bikoro, on the shores of Lake Tumba.

Bikoro Hospital director Dr. Serge Ngalebato told The Associated Press earlier Thursday that nurses at the hospital were among the five suspected Ebola cases there.

Researchers found there was just a small number of so-called "superspreaders" - highly infectious people who infect many others - in West Africa. The virus spreads by direct contact with body fluids, like blood, of an infected human or other animals.

That is often followed by vomiting and diarrhoea, skin eruptions, kidney and liver failure, and internal and external bleeding.

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Mass vaccination programmes will not help prevent new Ebola virus outbreaks, a study has found.

Some 462 million people are living in the areas affected by Ebola virus outbreaks, many of them in very remote rural areas.

Investigations by The Nation reveal that passengers on flight to West African countries are being screened at the Lagos Airport.

DFID has worked with Wellcome to develop a safe vaccine for Ebola which is now stockpiled, ready for use, by the Global Vaccines Alliance, GAVI - to which we are a major contributor.

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