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Worrying news has just come out of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) as the government has declared an outbreak of the Ebola virus disease (EVD).

"One of the defining features of this epidemic is the fact that three health professionals have been affected", Health Minister Oly Ilunga said in a statement. WHO Deputy Director-General of Emergency Preparedness and Response Dr. Peter Salama adds that they are also prioritizing the minimization of casualties.

The WHO's Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, added: "We know that addressing this outbreak will require a comprehensive and coordinated response".

"Even though this is a remote rural area, which normally gives us a sense of reassurance in terms of the spread of an outbreak, the problem here is that we already have three separate locations covering as much as 60 km and maybe more".

'Report cholera cases' He also outlined measures they had in place to avert an outbreak of cholera and advised the public to report such cases to the nearest hospitals. "The reservoir [animal] is in DRC, Gabon and the Republic of [the] Congo", he says.

From 4 April through 9 May 2018, a total of 32 Ebola virus disease cases (among which two are confirmed, 18 probable and 12 suspected cases) were reported from Bikoro health zone, Equateur province, including 18 deaths.

A health worker sprays a colleague with disinfectant during a training session for Congolese health workers to deal with Ebola virus in Kinshasa October 21, 2014.

"Public health emergency of worldwide concern" means an extraordinary event which is determined, as provided in these Regulations: "(i) to constitute a public health risk to other States through the global spread of disease and (ii) to potentially require a coordinated global response".

Najib Balala, Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary said the outbreak has not affected tourists from West Africa from visiting Kenya.

Rapidly responding to Ebola is key to stopping the outbreak before it gets out of control.

This is the ninth time Ebola has been recorded in Congo and comes less than a year after the last outbreak killed four people.

The Ebola virus, which mostly affects humans and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas and chimpanzees), is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission. There is no specific treatment for Ebola.

Ebola is spread through person-to-person contact with the blood, or other bodily fluids, of an infected person.

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