He stressed however that the possibility of an worldwide spread of the disease was still considered "low", but said the situation was constantly being evaluated. Of the 21 initially reported cases on 8 May 2018, 17 had epidemiological links (potential contacts with another suspect case).
The initial focus will be on surveillance and understanding the extent of the outbreak; safe burials; case by case management; and preparing for any public health measures deemed necessary in terms of vaccination.
This is DRC's ninth Ebola outbreak since scientists first identified the disease.
No travel restrictions have been imposed‚ but the outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a reminder to travellers and medical personnel from SA to ensure their vaccinations are up to date.
Congo Ebola outbreak kills 17 but risk of spreading is 'very low'
The ministry has also established the National Health Emergencies Council to expedite prevention of Ebola and other diseases. More than 11,000 people died in almost 30,000 confirmed cases in that outbreak, according to the World Health Organisation.
Health care workers have already been affected by the virus, including one who has died from the disease, which increases the "amplification factor" of the Ebola outbreak according to Peter Salama, a top World Health Organization official.
Ebola has returned to Africa. Five samples were collected from 5 patients and two have been confirmed by the laboratory. The virus is transmitted to human through contact with wild animals and can then be passed from person to person. This comes only three days after the outbreak was officially announced and a week after the first reported case. On average, about 50% of people who become ill with Ebola die.
Further isolation site has been set up at the airport to deal with any case that may arise. The formal response team-WHO, Doctors Without Borders and the DRC health ministry-have just arrived in the area, Rollins says, so there are still many unknowns. They are using the same approach taken during a successful response to an EVD outbreak past year. The ongoing epidemic is located in the Bikoro health zone, located in Equateur province, in western Democratic Republic of the Congo and on the border with the Republic of Congo.
The deadly disease is characterized by the abrupt onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache, and sore throat.
The extent to which individual countries can detect, confirm and report the disease may also affect scientists' understanding of why it occurs where it does.
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