Congo Faces Another Ebola Outbreak After 18 Die, 2 Cases Confirmed

"WHO is supporting the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in coordinating this response; this is the country's ninth Ebola outbreak and there is considerable expertise in-country", said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

Corrects paragraph one of Thursday's story to show death and other new cases of illness in Congo are suspected to be Ebola but have not been confirmed.

At the same time, Trump is demanding a cut of $30 million in emergency response cash contained in the U.S. At least 17 people have died, according to the country's health ministry. The virus can also be spread through sexual contact.

When the Ebola virus swept through West Africa in 2014, it hit capital cities so quickly that medical professionals were left with few options to prevent its spread.

The authorities in the DRC are now experienced in responding to an Ebola outbreak. Humans usually get infected from eating and preparing bush meat - mainly deer and monkey - and once they are infected, they can easily pass on the infection to other people. Three of the patients are health care workers.

If you travel to or are in an area affected by an Ebola outbreak, the CDC says to make sure to avoid endemic areas.

The minister clarified with The Associated Press that testing still must be done in nine cases, and equipment to conduct rapid testing on the patients has been dispatched. Bikoro health zone has a population of around 163 000 people with three hospitals and 19 health centres covering the population, most with limited functionality.

At a media briefing in Geneva, Peter Salama, MBBS, MPH, said the outbreak area near Bikoro-located about 174 miles from the provincial capital city of Mbandaka-has few paved roads and little electricity, and now the only way to get supplies in is by motorbike. That outbreak, the worst in history, killed approximately 11,310 people.

'We will be screening incoming passengers, particularly passengers from DRC and neighbouring countries'.

"After contact, the nurses began showing signs". Some experts also suspect deforestation could be a factor, bringing infected animals and people together in the area when they may cut down trees or butcher infected bats for food. Reminiscing the last outbreak begs the question: Is screening enough?

Trump's requests for the cut to Ebola response funds, which were put in place by Obama in 2015, came on March 8, the same day that the new outbreak of Ebola - which has 32 known victims including the 18 dead - was first revealed. "The reservoir [animal] is in DRC, Gabon and the Republic of [the] Congo", he says. But the British and US organizations are not yet part of the formal response on the ground.

"We started well, and now we need to continue well, and we'll need the support of the entire worldwide community for this response", he said. "And there is always concern about connections between populations".

  • Joanne Flowers