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More Ebola cases detected in DR Congo

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Map of the Democratic Republic of Congo locating a new outbreak of Ebola virus near the town of Bikoro on the shores of Lake Tumba in the north-western Equateur province

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.

Bikoro is situated in Equateur Province on the shores of Lake Tumba in the north-western part of the country near the Republic of the Congo.

The aggressive Ebola epidemic, which triggered worldwide alerts between 2013 and 2016, was the most widespread outbreak of the virus, killing more than 11,300 people and infecting almost 30,000 others.

The World Health Organisation has made $1 million available to stop the virus from spreading to other provinces and countries, a representative of the UN's humanitarian affairs agency OCHA told reporters.

A National Health Emergencies Council has also been established to act expeditiously to prevent any importation of Ebola.

"On Monday, blood samples from five patients in the DRC, particularly in a particular district in DRC, two of the five cases, Ebola was actually confirmed".

Yakubu also noted that all the equipment and personnel used in fighting the virus in 2014 were still very much at the airports.

Peter Salama, WHO deputy director-general, emergency preparedness and response, welcomed the United Kingdom support.

Some African carriers including: Cronos Airlines, Air Cote D' Ivoire, Asky Airlines, African World Airlines, Rwand Air, Kenyan Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines and South African Airways operate flights into their operational hubs that link Democratic Republic of Congo.

Neighbouring countries have been alerted about the new outbreak. "This situation worries us and requires an immediate and energetic response". This was well contained through the efficient coordination among the government, health department, worldwide partners and the WHO. It has also confirmed that there are 11 other people that are now infected with Ebola. The disease was first identified in two simultaneous outbreaks, one in Nzara, and the other in Yambuku, a village near the Ebola River from which the disease takes its name.

An infected Liberian diplomat trying to get to the United Stated brought the virus into Nigeria. Without preventive measures, the virus can spread quickly between people and is fatal in up to 90 percent of cases.

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