At least 17 people have died in an area of north-western Democratic Republic of Congo where health officials confirmed an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus. The government referred to the outbreak, the country's ninth, as "an worldwide public health emergency". These belong to the Equateur Province.
This is the ninth Ebola outbreak recorded in the Congo since 1976, when the disease was discovered there. Doctors Without Borders is one of the organizations who will assist the WHO, and the response will be modelled after the methods used in a 2017 Ebola outbreak that occurred in another DRC province.
The World Health Organisation said it was working to "rapidly scale up its operations" in DRC following the outbreak.
"The action plan prepared by the health ministry has been approved", an official statement released after a cabinet meeting said.
The ministry said a team of experts will go to Bikoro on Wednesday to supervise and help monitor the situation to avoid further spread of the disease.
Ebola occasionally jumps to humans from animals, including bats and monkeys.
The virus is handed on by contact with bodily fluids - touching a sick or dead person is a well-known source of infection.
"Our top priority is to get to Bikoro to work alongside the Government and partners to reduce the loss of life and suffering related to this new Ebola virus disease outbreak".
That is often followed by vomiting and diarrhoea, skin eruptions, kidney and liver failure, and internal and external bleeding.
In West Africa, an Ebola outbreak that ended two years ago killed more than 11,300 people and infected some 28,600 as it rolled through Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia before finally being contained. Spend less on the Internet! It kills almost 90 percent of all infected. He noted that the team is now in discussions about setting up a mobile laboratory unit and whether to deploy some of the Ebola vaccine. Early care with rehydration may boost the chance of survival.
Health experts credit an awareness of the disease among the population and local medical staff's experience treating for past successes containing its spread.