NFF monitoring Ebola before DR Congo friendly

Map of the Democratic Republic of Congo locating a new outbreak of Ebola virus near the town of Bikoro on the shores of Lake Tumba in the north-western Equateur province

Map of the Democratic Republic of Congo locating a new outbreak of Ebola virus near the town of Bikoro on the shores of Lake Tumba in the north-western Equateur province

"All of the sick are presenting signs of fever, diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain and intense fatigue", Ngalebato said.

It is DRC's ninth known outbreak of Ebola since 1976.

But Ikoko Impenge and Bikoro are situated not far from the banks of the Congo River, a major artery for trade and transport upstream from the capital Kinshasa.

Dr Serge Ngalebato, Bikoro Hospital director, tells The Associated Press that two nurses who were in contact with patients are among the five suspected cases. The government has reactivated Emergency Operation CEnters that were in use during the 2014 Ebola outbreak.

Seven people with the haemorrhagic fever were in hospital in Bikoro on Thursday, said health minister Oly Ilunga.

The province of Equateur has an estimated population of 2.5 million people with 284 registered health facilities. Medical supplies are provided by global bodies, but stock outs are frequent.

According to reports, the first multidisciplinary team comprised of experts from WHO, Médecins Sans Frontières and Provincial Division of Health has already been sent to Bikoro to strengthen coordination and investigations. The medical department in the country is primarily dependent on the support from the WHO and other health partners for its emergency response.

World Health Organization has shared risk communication materials in French and Lingala with the World Health Organization country offices.

Immediate logistical capabilities and needs are being established.

To date, the outbreak is reported in a remote area and appears to be geographically limited. The country was praised for its response to the disease, which killed at least 11,000 elsewhere in West Africa.

Some African carriers including: Cronos Airlines, Air Cote D' Ivoire, Asky Airlines, African World Airlines, Rwanda Air, Kenyan Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines and South African Airways operate flights into their operational hubs that link Democratic Republic of Congo. Based on the information now available and the rapid response measures implemented by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with WHO and partners, the event does not meet the criteria of a public heath event of global concern as defined in the IHR (2005) 1, and does not warrant the convening of an Emergency Committee under the IHR (2005).

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