Congo reports a single confirmed case of Ebola, UN says

The Ebola virus as seen through a microscope. File pic

Image The Ebola virus as seen through a microscope. File pic

He added that the cases were first reported in Bas-Uele province, northern DRC on April 22.

The last outbreak of Ebola in Congo was in 2014 and killed 42 people.

The incident, which World Health Organization said had been brought to its attention on Thursday, could signal the start of a new outbreak.

He said the disease was confirmed when blood tests of five people suspected to have the disease were done at National Institute for Biomedical Research or INRBR.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said it was taking the outbreak of the virus in a remote north-east forest region "very seriously".

"The area in Likati is hard to access, but the work of tracing contacts is very crucial to stopping the epidemic in its tracks", he said.

It said the health zone at Likati some 1,300 km from Kinshasa was very hard to access but stressed it was crucial to pinpoint who had had contact with those affected in order to nip the latest outbreak in the bud.

Prior to the new Ebola case, the Canadian government already had an advisory warning against all non-essential travel to the Democratic Republic of Congo "because of the current political and security situation".

The disease has a 90% fatality rate to date, but the World Health Organization recently developed a an experimental vaccine that can be used in emergencies. He was referred to the nearest hospital with laboratory test facilities, but died on the way, infecting the motorcycle driver and another passenger who traveled with him. On Friday, the Gavi Vaccine Alliance - a public-private partnership that works to ensure global vaccine supplies - confirmed to Reuters that the vaccines are available to be deployed.

In 2015, during the waning months of the West African epidemic, the experimental vaccine was given to about 5,800 people in Guinea who had had close contact with new Ebola patients, along with the contacts of those contacts.

In all, nine people have come down with symptoms consistent with the virus. The WHO has described Congo as "the country that knows how to beat Ebola".

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