Congo Faces Another Ebola Outbreak After 18 Die, 2 Cases Confirmed

As Ebola returns to Africa Nigeria attempts to secure its borders

Nigeria's airports, seaports and land borders have been placed on high alert after the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) declared an outbreak of Ebola this week.

Funded by the European Union, it can carry out rapid testing even in the most remote areas.

But despite the fact that during the 2014 outbreak he slammed President Barack Obama for what he called a "TOTAL incompetent" response to the possibility of Ebola cases reaching the United States, Donald Trump this week announced cuts of $252 million in funding for a US response to a potential Ebola plague, calling the cut part of his move to stop "irresponsible Federal spending".

Bikoro Hospital director Dr. Serge Ngalebato told The Associated Press earlier Thursday that nurses at the hospital were among the five suspected Ebola cases there.

The virus' natural reservoir animal is probably the bat, which does not itself fall ill, but can pass the microbe on to humans who hunt it for food.

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At least 17 people have died in DRC, the ninth outbreak recorded in the country.

Ebola experts have various suspicions about why the DRC remains so vulnerable.

Nigeria is screening passengers at borders for Ebola. "It is important to remember that there are several types of hemorrhagic fever apart from the Ebola virus" in the country, Ilunga says.

More than 99 percent of victims were in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone although cases popped up all over the world, sparking panic.

Between them, the two cities have a population of more than 12 million.

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The risk of an Ebola outbreak in the United Kingdom remains negligible, it added. "If the outbreak started last month, then yes, it would be interesting to sample the bats".

"The 32 cases include 3 healthcare workers, including 1 who has died", Salama said.

Eleven people are now confirmed to be infected with the highly infectious virus in the DRC, including three medical staff. "Due to its huge swathes of forest, the DRC is a reservoir for the virus, making the country particularly susceptible to outbreaks of Ebola", he says. More than 450 million people are residing in areas affected from Ebola viruses and a lot of them come under rural section. He said they also use thermal guns to check temperature. DRC is about the size of Greenland-almost a million square miles-and much of it has always been forested, notes Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. This is the fourth time that an Ebola outbreak has been reported in the former province of Equateur, following those of 1976, 1977 and 2014.

In December 2016, trials of an Ebola vaccine found that the shot gave high levels of protection against a strain of the deadly disease.

He told a United Nations briefing in Geneva that he hoped the Democratic Republic of Congo would deploy an "experimental vaccine". However, the disease is not as gruesome as has sometimes been reported (body organs don't liquiefy), which makes it hard to figure out what's Ebola and what's not. Additionally, national health authorities also provided robust support and easy access to flexible funding. That makes me think this is the tip of the iceberg.

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"This is going to be tough and it's going to be costly to stamp out this outbreak", he stressed.

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