More awareness urged to stem Ebola spread in DR Congo

The government has so far confirmed nine deaths

For his part, the acting director of Preventive Services at the Ministry of Health, Communty Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Dr Khalid Massa, said Tanzania had put measures in place to prevent entry of Ebola into the country.

The WHO's plan for Congo assumes each rural Ebola case would have 10 potentially infected contacts and each urban case would have 30.

In this photo taken Friday, May 25, 2018, UNICEF staffer Jean Claude Nzengu, center, talks with members of an Ebola vaccination team as they prepare to administer the vaccine in an Ebola-affected community. "May God protect us in any case", Grace Ekofo, a 23-year-old student in Kinshasa, told The Associated Press.

"We who are on the front lines of caring for the sick".

Health officials are trying to track down more than 500 people who have been in with those feared infected, a task that became more urgent with the spread to Mbandaka, which lies on the Congo River, a busy traffic corridor, and is an hour's flight from the capital.

Amid worries of the spread of Ebola, several schools in the Iboko health zone, about 180 kilometers (112 miles) southeast of Mbandaka, have been closed, according to reports by United Nations -backed Radio Okapi.

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One resident said that what they first thought were rumors were becoming reality with the death and that they were very scared to interact.

The death happened in Iboko, a rural area in northwestern Equateur province, the health ministry said in a statement.

The U.N. children's agency said it was mobilizing hundreds of community workers to raise awareness on protection against the disease.

'Medical preparedness and a swift global response to the Ebola outbreak in DR Congo are essential if we are to prevent a new Ebola epidemic, ' said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide. The virus is initially transmitted to people from wild animals, including bats and monkeys. After an incubation period that lasts between 2 to 21 days, the infected person may present symptoms such as high fever, headaches, muscular pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and in some cases internal and external hemorrhages.

"Some people don't believe in the Ebola virus or in the medication provided, others are afraid of it. Cases of people leaving hospitals and refusing care have been reported, which could have dramatic consequences".

The Ebola virus spreads through direct contact with either bodily fluids or objects contaminated by someone ill with the disease.

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