World Health Organization has announced Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The WHO said the outbreak affects an equatorial forest region in Bas-Uele province, bordering Central African Republic.
At least one person has died after contracting the virus in the country’s north-east, the WHO says.
The Congolese health ministry had notified the WHO of a “lab-confirmed case” of Ebola, it added on Twitter.
In a television address, Health Minister Oly Ilunga confirmed the outbreak while urging the population “not to panic”.
The country “has taken all necessary measures to responde quickly and efficiently to this new outbreak.”
The WHO noted that it was working closely with DR Congo authorities to help deploy health workers and protective equipment in the remote area, which is difficult for teams to access, in order to “rapidly control the outbreak”.
Of the nine people suspected to have contracted the deadly virus, three died, with one case of Ebola confirmed through tests at the national laboratory in the capital Kinshasa, WHO Congo representative Allarangar Yokouide said in a statement.
People began to get sick on or after 22 April in Bas-Uele province in the country’s far north, he added.
The region affected lies 1,300km (800 miles) north-east of Kinshasa, close to the border with the Central African Republic.
“It is in a very remote zone, very forested, so we are a little lucky. But we always take this very seriously,” WHO Congo spokesman Eric Kabambi told Reuters news agency.
The WHO described the outbreak as “a public health crisis of international importance”.
It said the first teams of experts, including epidemiologists, biologists and hygiene specialists had been dispatched and were due to arrive in the affected region by Friday or Saturday.
More than 11,000 people died in the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014-2015, mainly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
You must log in to post a comment.