Sunday, 22 July, 2018

First death confirmed from new outbreak of Ebola

A passenger is screened at the JKIA in Nairobi in August 2015 /FILE A passenger is screened at the JKIA in Nairobi in August 2015 /FILE
Becky Salazar | 11 May, 2018, 04:26

The Nigeria football federation (NFF) may cancel the already scheduled global friendly match between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo following a fresh outbreak of Ebola in the central African country.

Two subjects tested positive in an area around the northwestern part of the country, but there are at least 21 suspected cases elsewhere.

Health officials in Congo, where Ebola was discovered in the 1970s, confirmed the outbreak of the disease on Tuesday. The government has reactivated Emergency Operation CEnters that were in use during the 2014 Ebola outbreak.

He said four new cases and one death have also been reported in the town of Ikoko Impenge, and that three nurses are among those infected.

Africa's most populous country is taking no chances and health minister Isaac Adewole told CNN that people traveling from the Central African country where 17 people are suspected to have died from the viral hemorrhagic fever, will undergo temperature screening at all borders of the country.

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.

The health ministry said on Thursday it had dispatched a team of 12 experts to the area to try to trace new contacts of the disease, identify the epicentre and all affected villages and provide resources.

Before Thursday's statement by Ilunga, two cases of the Zaire strain of Ebola had been confirmed in the region.

Ebola is best known and most feared for the internal and external bleeding it can cause in its victims, owing to damage done to blood vessels.

Nigeria has already stepped up screening processes at this entry points including major global airports in the country to ensure no outbreak is recorded.

It has also confirmed that there are 11 other people that are now infected with Ebola. Similar measures helped it contain the virus during the West African epidemic that began in 2013.

Congo's long experience of Ebola and its vast, remote geography mean outbreaks are often localised and relatively easy to isolate and snuff out.

The province of Equateur has an estimated population of 2.5 million people with 284 registered health facilities.

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