New outbreak of Ebola kills 17 in northwest DR Congo


"Since notification of the cases on May 3, no deaths have been reported either among the hospitalized cases or the health care personnel", the statement said.

17 people are reported to have died from the latest outbreak in the town of Bikoro, according to the country's health ministry.

There have been two confirmed cases of the virus and 17 deaths, the health ministry said on Tuesday.

Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO Regional Director for Africa said, "We know that addressing this outbreak will require a comprehensive and coordinated response".

This is the ninth time Ebola has been recorded in the Democratic Republic of Congo since the disease made its first known appearance - near the vast central African country's northern Ebola river - in the 1970s.

Two nurses who were in contact with patients are also among five suspected cases, Bikoro Hospital director Dr Serge Ngalebato said.

The state has ordered the screening of all travelers coming entering the country following an Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo.

Two subjects tested positive in an area around the northwestern part of the country, but there are at least 21 suspected cases elsewhere.

At the start of February, vaccination efforts began in states of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Bahia, seeking to immunize 19.7 million people against yellow fever, for which cases have been rising since a year ago, Xinhua news agency reported.

Ebola virus disease, which most commonly affects people and nonhuman primates such as monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees, is caused by one of five Ebola viruses.

The disease is believed to be spread by bats, who can incubate the virus without being affected by it. "The generous support from Wellcome and partners like DFID in combination with WHO's Contingency Fund for Emergencies is already making a difference".

Mass vaccination programmes will not help prevent new Ebola virus outbreaks, a study has found.

In December 2016, trials of an Ebola vaccine, with funders including Wellcome, DFID and the Norwegian Government, confirmed it provides a high level of protection against a strain of the deadly disease.