Congo announces six new Ebola cases

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Congolese health ministry data show four cases of Ebola confirmed in Mbandaka's Wangata neighbourhood and two suspected cases.

Fears had been raised reports of infections in the port city of Mbandaka, on the Congo river, could lead to many more cases if the virus spreads downstream to the capital. This outbreak is the 9th outbreak of the Ebola virus disease over the last 4 decades in the country.

The death toll from hemorrhagic fever stands at 27, with three of them confirmed as Ebola.

"We have established surveillance mechanisms and are following all cases and contacts", Ilunga said in the AP report.

In a hopeful sign, two patients who were confirmed as positive for Ebola have recovered, and have left the hospital 'with a medical certificate attesting that they've recovered and can no longer transmit the disease because they have developed antibodies against Ebola, ' he said.

"These data underscore the value of ongoing health promotion efforts to prevent sporadic transmission or future outbreaks including messaging that aims to reverse misconceptions about Ebola transmission and prevention, to clarify duration and modes of transmission from survivors, and to address stigma that survivors might face as they recover, rebuild their lives, and reintegrate into communities", the authors wrote.

A health official takes temperature of disembarking passengers at Mbandaka airport on May 19, 2018.

The Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, on Monday said DR Congo players would be screened for Ebola on arrival in the country ahead of their friendly match against the Super Eagles in Port Harcourt on Monday.

Members of a Red Cross team don protective clothing before heading out to look for suspected victims of Ebola
KARSTEN VOIGT AP Members of a Red Cross team don protective clothing before heading out to look for suspected victims of Ebola in Mbandaka Congo

More than 7,500 doses are available in Congo, WHO said Monday, adding that an additional 8,000 doses will be available in the coming days.

Hundreds of people have been in contact with infected people and are being monitored, and they are candidates for the first round of an experimental vaccination campaign that began this week.

Among the reasons Ebola spread fast across West Africa during the 2014 outbreak - killing more than 11,300 and infecting 28,000 - was a lack of public knowledge about how the virus is transmitted and what the people can do to protect themselves.

Together with his cabinet, he also approved the provision of free healthcare services in the affected areas and specialised care to survivors and their families.

He further stated that the disease is a highly infectious condition such that when there is an outbreak in a community, there is no way the national health system can keep it a secret from the public.

The Ebola virus is transmitted to humans from animals and is estimated by the World Health Organization to have a 50-percent fatality rate.

This is Congo's ninth Ebola outbreak since 1976, when the disease was first identified.

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