Congo reports a single confirmed case of Ebola, UN says

About 50 percent of people who contract Ebola virus disease die from it, writes the World Health Organization, though that number can vary depending on the outbreak.

The tweet read, "On May 11 2017, the Min of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo notified WHO & partners of a lab-confirmed case of #Ebola".

It's been three years since the Democratic Republic of Congo faced down its last epidemic of Ebola.

Health officials are trying to trace 125 people thought to be linked to the cases, WHO's Congo spokesman Eugene Kabambi said.

One medical humanitarian organization, Alima, which works in Africa, said it is sending additional doctors, nurses, logisticians, epidemiologists and water, sanitation and hygiene experts to the region.

The country was tracking an outbreak of hemorrhagic fever, including nine "suspected" cases of Ebola since April 22.

UNHCR spokesperson Andrej Mahecic told a press briefing here on Friday that the recent arrivals included people with severe wounds and burn injuries, who have been transferred to a local hospital to receive urgent medical attention.

Ebola is a virus known to circulate in populations of chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, and a few other animals in the rainforests of West and Central Africa.

This followed the outbreak of the disease in Congo.

Both Congo and public health workers will have to spring into action to prevent a small pocket of disease from turning into a larger outbreak.

According to Kalenga, the confirmation of the Ebola virus followed test results on blood samples at the laboratory of the National Institute for Biomedical Research (INRB), the national laboratory in capital city Kinshasa. "The vaccine has shown high efficacy in clinical trials and could play a vital role in protecting the most vulnerable".

And this time, for the first time in the history of Ebola outbreaks, there is an experimental Ebola vaccine that can be used to help contain the outbreak, if it's needed.

On Friday, the GAVI global vaccine alliance said 300,000 emergency vaccine doses for Ebola are available in the event of another widespread outbreak, Reuters reports.

Vanessa Coleman

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