DR Congo hit by EBOLA OUTBREAK as authorities call for calm

Julie Hall, chief of staff at the International Federation of the Red Cross, said the Ebola response in North Kivu would be a "highly complex" operation.

Authorities did not immediately say how many cases had been detected.

Four cases of the disease were positively confirmed in the country's North Kivu province and more are anticipated, Dr. Oly Ilunga Kalenga, the country's health minister, said.

Officials from the United Nations, the World Bank, the WHO and Congo's Ministry of Health will support a team already on the ground, the WHO said in a tweet.

Global health experts have arrived in the region.

Officials have said they now feel better prepared for Ebola outbreaks, in sharp contrast to the 2014 epidemic of the virus, which killed more than 11,000 people, mostly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

"This is an active conflict zone", Peter Salama, the World Health Organization deputy director-general for emergency response, said in a statement, calling the region very different from where the last outbreak occurred.

Government officials said at least 20 people died in nine days after showing symptoms of haemorrhagic fever in and around the village of Mangina. Fortunately, equipment and responders to the earlier outbreak are still in DRC. Ebola is a constant threat in the Democratic Republic of Congo as the virus thrives in heavily forested areas.

The Ministry of Health of the Democratic of the Congo (DRC) informed WHO that four out of six samples tested positive for Ebola virus at the Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale (INRB) in Kinshasa.

Once present in humans, it causes haemorrhagic fever, vomiting and diarrhea and is spread through direct contact with body fluids.

Congo has dealt with Ebola for decades and this is its tenth outbreak of the virus.

The province shares a border with Rwanda and Uganda, and cross-border movement is common.

He says it is crucial to gain access to the area as quickly as possible.He says having people and material in the country from the outbreak in Equateur is very helpful in tackling the outbreak.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)

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