A fresh outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo has left dozens of people dead and triggered fears across Africa that it could spread.
Between 2013 and 2016 Ebola has killed more than 11,000 people in West Africa, mainly in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria.
Following the outbreak of Ebola in DR Congo, there is a high possibility that the global friendly match between the central African nation and the Super Eagles of Nigeria will be called off. The virus was first discovered there in 1976 (when the country was known as Zaire) and is named after the Ebola river.
The outbreak declaration was made after laboratory results confirmed two cases of Ebola out of a sample of five suspected patients, World Health Organization said.
"Twenty-one cases of fever with haemorrhagic indications and 17 deaths" have been recorded in Equateur province, it said, citing a notification to the ministry as of May 3.
Congo's health ministry on Tuesday, May 8, described the fresh outbreak as a "public health emergency with worldwide impact".
Neighbouring countries have been alerted about the new outbreak.
Yesterday (8th May 2018), the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo declared a new outbreak of Ebola in the rural northwest of the country. The fatality rate stays at 50 per cent.
Reuters noted that Ebola is believed to be spread over long distances by bats as the animals can host the virus without dying.
"WHO is working closely with the government of the DRC to rapidly scale up its operations and mobilize health partners, using the model of a successful response to a similar... outbreak in 2017", it said in a statement.
The outbreak comes after the World Bank stated previous year that Earth isn't ready for an "inevitable" pandemic, after stimulating four possible scenarios. "The generous support from Wellcome and partners like DFID and GloPID-R in combination with WHO's Contingency Fund for Emergencies is already making a difference".
A study released a year ago also suggested disease "superspreaders" fueled the transmission of the 2014 Ebola epidemic.
"All equipment and personnel used in combatting the virus in 2014 are still very much at the airports".
At least two thirds of the victims who contracted the virus can be traced back to this small group.