Ebola outbreak spreads to DR Congo city

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Health officials have confirmed a case in the northwest city of Mbandaka, a busy river port located at the intersection of the Congo and Ruki rivers and with trade routes to the capital Kinshasa. Hence, it is heartening to know that this nation just received the first batch of the Ebola vaccine since the new outbreak began.

African Union (AU) sent today a health team to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to monitor the situation and the country " s required level of support to stop Ebola outbreak.

In this UNICEF photograph on May 13, 2018, a health worker wears protective equipment as he looks on at Bikoro Hospital - the epicenter of the latest Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo which has sealed off a ward to diagnose and treat suspected patients. "Since the announcement of the alert in Mbandaka, our epidemiologists are working in the field to identify people who have been in contact with suspected cases".

The BBC reports, "Ebola is a serious infectious illness that causes internal bleeding and often proves fatal".

Before Wednesday's announcement, there had been only two cases of the virus confirmed by lab tests.

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Health Ministry said vaccinations would start at weekend, first time vaccine would come into use since it was developed two years ago.

Hence, it is essential that the central government - despite being weak - works with local institutions, the World Health Organizations, appropriate charities, and obtains knowledge from institutions and individuals who helped during the 2014-2016 crisis that blighted parts of West Africa.

Congo has reported 23 deaths among the 42 suspected, probable and confirmed cases. The health body also sent 300 body bags for safe burials in affected communities.

The vaccine requires storage at a temperature between -60 and -80 degrees C, tricky in a country with unreliable electricity.