First death confirmed from new outbreak of Ebola

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'Our country is facing another epidemic of the Ebola virus, which constitutes an global public health emergency, ' the Congo Health Ministry said.

Bikoro is situated in Equateur Province on the shores of Lake Tumba in the north-western part of the country near the Republic of the Congo.

Nigeria recorded its first case of Ebola in 2014 after a government official named Patrick Sawyer, who had been infected with the virus from Liberia, collapsed on arrival at the airport in country's biggest city, catching health authorities unawares.

"The team is working with the national authorities and other worldwide organisations to assess the situation and to ensure that the outbreak is contained".

They are conducting tests, establishing a chronology of events, and working on identifying the reasons which could have led to this outbreak.

This is the ninth time an Ebola outbreak has been recorded in DR Congo.

According to the Ministry of Health, the five samples taken from suspected cases were sent for analysis to the INRB of Kinshasa on Sunday, May 6.

Isaac Adewole, Minister of Health, who briefed State House correspondents shortly after FEC meeting on Wednesday, said council ordered steps to be taken to keep the Ebola outbreak in Congo from entering Nigeria. The disease was discovered in 1976 and named after the eponymous Ebola River that cuts across the north of the country. The medical department in the country is primarily dependent on the support from the WHO and other health partners for its emergency response.

The disease is believed to be spread by bats, who can incubate the virus without being affected by it.

Congo's vast, remote geography also gives it an advantage, as outbreaks are often localised and relatively easy to isolate.

This undated, colourized micrograph file image provided by CDC shows an Ebola virus virion.

"Working with partners and responding early and in a co-ordinated way will be vital to containing this deadly disease", the World Health Organization statement added. The fatality rate stays at 50 per cent.

Another 11 people, including three nurses, are ill with the deadly virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Government experts will meet on Thursday to discuss measures to prevent the disease from crossing the border and spread to neighbouring countries.

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