Congo Ebola outbreak kills 17 but risk of spreading is 'very low'

Deadly Outbreak Reported in 11th Largest Country in the World: 17 Dead, More Sickened

Nigeria's taken immediate precautions to prevent any spread into its borders of the Ebola outbreak identified in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Congo's Health Ministry said that of the five samples sent to the National Institute of Biological Research in Kinshasa, two came back positive for the Zaire strain of Ebola in the country's Equateur Province.

At least 17 people have died since inhabitants of a village in the country's northwest began showing symptoms resembling Ebola in December, according to the World Health Organization.

During the same time, an Ebola outbreak hit West Africa which killed over 11,300 people and infected 28,600 people.

The World Health Organization declared an outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The team found 5 cases, 2 of whom were hospitalized at Bikoro General Hospital and 3 at the Ikoko Impenge Health Center.

"That seems to me to be about as fast as you can reasonably expect", said Jimmy Whitworth, a specialist in epidemiology and public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

That would bring the total number of people reporting symptoms to 25, of whom at least 17 have so far died.

Health officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo are racing to contain an Ebola outbreak announced this week.

"Following the outbreak of Ebola in DRC and as per the worldwide health regulations we are now conducting routine screening of all travelers at points of entry", said Kariuki in a notice seen by TUKO.co.ke.

Nigeria managed to escape the last Ebola outbreak with just 20 cases and eight deaths. This is DRC's ninth Ebola outbreak since the virus was discovered.

Nigeria's immigration service said on Thursday it had increased screening tests at airports and other entry points as a precautionary measure following the Ebola outbreak in Congo.

The Ebola virus strikes again in Africa.

This is not Congo's first encounter with the hemorrhagic fever, which causes an acute, serious illness which is often fatal if untreated.

This latest outbreak happened in an area near the banks of the Congo River. The disease shows early symptoms similar to other diseases like typhoid and malaria-fever, headache, muscle pain and chills-and this makes it hard to identify it in its initial phases.

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