Response to Congo's new Ebola outbreak 'highly complex'

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The Ministry of Health of the Democratic of the Congo (DRC) informed WHO that four out of six samples tested positive for Ebola virus at the Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale (INRB) in Kinshasa.

Salama said "we expect. that the overall case count will rise in coming days to weeks based on the trajectory of epidemics at this stage in their development".

Congolese and global health officials were credited with responding rapidly to the last outbreak, including by deploying an experimental vaccine manufactured by Merck.

The North Kivu is Congo's third Ebola outbreak in 2018, but officials this time have large supplies of vaccines and the means to educate the country's population about symptoms. A highly infective virus, it can be spread via contact with animals or the bodily fluids of the infected - including the dead. Another 20 people have died from unidentified haemorrhagic fevers in the area, mostly in the second half of July.

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A new outbreak of Ebola has been detected in northeastern Congo only a week after the most recent outbreak in a different part of the country was declared over, the country's health ministry said Wednesday. The last outbreak in Mbandaka, 1,500 miles to the west of Mangina killed at least 33 people.

Twelve health ministry experts would be sent to Beni on Thursday to help oversee the response to the outbreak, Ilunga added. This should allow health officials to again use what has become the greatest weapon against Ebola epidemics to date.

But eastern Congo is a tinderbox of conflicts over land and ethnicity stoked by decades of on-off war and this could hamper efforts to contain the virus.

North Kivu hosts over 1 million displaced people.

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Agents were deployed to warn people about the need for strict hygiene and the local radio station passed on messages about how to act, a local journalist said by phone.

A World Health Organization worker gives an Ebola vaccination to a front line aid worker who will then go to vaccinate locals. The province shares borders with Rwanda and Uganda, with a lot of cross border movement due to brisk trade.

Worldwide experts set up a laboratory on Thursday in the city of Beni, 30 km from where the outbreak was declared.

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