Ebola is endemic to the Democratic Republic of Congo, and this is the nation's ninth outbreak of Ebola virus disease since the discovery of the virus in the country in 1976.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says it is preparing for the "worst case scenario" in an Ebola outbreak in a remote area of the Democratic Republic of Congo, including the potential for the virus to spread to a major town.
A new Ebola virus outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has infected 32 people, with two cases confirmed, 18 probable, and 12 suspected.
It can be used to protect people who have had contact with Ebola victims, stopping the spread of disease, but that requires intensive contact tracing, which Salama said could take a week or two just for the cases already documented.
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The reported cases of Ebola so far are in a town called Bikoro in the Equateur province of the DRC. The patients presented with fever, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, myalgia and arthralgia, and some also showed haemorrhagic signs and symptoms. "We have isolated them".
But the outbreak may be worse than it seems, a World Health Organization official told Stat, since it may have started earlier and spread further than has been reported.
The illness brought Africa to its knees earlier this decade - with more than 11,000 people being killed in an outbreak.
"We are very concerned, and we are planning for all scenarios, including the worst case scenario", WHO´s head of emergency response Peter Salama told reporters in Geneva.
A team of experts has been despatched to Bikoro by the Health Ministry, Ilunga said.
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It said they had already arrived in the regional capital Mbandaka, about 150km away from the affected area.
"The port health services unit has been placed on red-alert and will heighten screening measures at ports of entry". In a vaccination trial during the West African Ebola virus epidemic, only 49 percent of individuals who had been in contact with Ebola virus patients could be vaccinated.
Congo's long experience of Ebola and its vast, remote geography mean outbreaks are often localised and relatively easy to isolate and snuff out. But the tree burned down and the bats were reduced to char, destroying the opportunity to search for much evidence-although researchers were able to use trace DNA fragments to pinpoint that they were Mops condylurus, an insect-eating species common across central and west Africa.
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