First death from fresh Ebola outbreak confirmed in north west Congo

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One death of Ebola hemorrhagic fever and 11 new cases have been confirmed in the outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Minister of Health Dr. Oly Ilunga said Thursday in Kinshasa.

The total number of people reporting symptoms of Ebola has risen to 25.

However, those cases were not confirmed through testing, making this week's death the first of the current outbreak.

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

The incident in the town of Bikoro comes more than a year after an outbreak in the country killed four people.

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A source at the airport confirmed the development to our correspondent, saying, "Though relevant authorities especially the Port Health Services desk have been doing their job but with the directive coming from the government and the outbreak of the disease in Congo, all hands are now more on deck to arrest any eventuality".

This is the ninth Ebola outbreak in DRC since 1976.

Five samples were collected from hospitalized patients, three from Ikoko-Impenge and two from Bikoro.

The funding will be available to the Government of the DRC and the World Health Organization (WHO) for the critical research needed to support the operational response now underway in the country.

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.

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"Our country is facing another epidemic of the Ebola virus, which constitutes an worldwide public health emergency", the ministry said in a statement.

Nigeria has already stepped up screening processes at this entry points including major global airports in the country to ensure no outbreak is recorded. Similar measures helped it contain the virus during the West African epidemic that began in 2013.

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

Ikoko Impenge is located in the northwestern portion of the country near the Congo River, which is a major trade and transportation route.

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

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