An Ebola outbreak has been declared in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where three people have been confirmed dead and another six are suspected to be infected with the virus, the World Health Organization has said.
According to World Health Organization, 9 suspected cases of Ebola have been reported in the Likati district since April 22, 2017, and 3 deaths are said to be attributed to the virus. Members of the Emergency Committee, created to monitor the situation in the continent, agreed that the situation in West Africa now "no longer constitutes" a public health emergency of worldwide concern. The WHO said that teams including epidemiologists and biologists, as well as public health experts, should reach the area today or tomorrow.
The WHO said the outbreak affects an equatorial forest region in Bas-Uele province, bordering Central African Republic.
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This outbreak was unrelated to the current outbreak of Ebola in West Africa. Although it was quickly contained, 49 people were killed. A wider outbreak occurred in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia in 2014-2015, killing more than 11,000 people. "But we always take this very seriously".
"Our country must confront an outbreak of the Ebola virus that constitutes a public health crisis of worldwide significance", the ministry said.
DRC's Minister of Health, Oly Ilunga, confirmed the outbreak in a television address. One out of the five blood samples tested at the DRC's National Biomedical Research Institute tested positive for the disease. Thousands more survivors have been left with long-term health problems and Liberia was only declared free of active Ebola virus transmission last June.