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Ebola is believed to be spread over long distances by bats, which can host the virus without dying, as it infects other animals it shares trees with such as monkeys. The average EVD case fatality rate is around 50%. The brand new instances had been reported from a small well being facility about 30 kilometers (19 miles) from Bikoro.

WHO said the two positive samples, out of five tested overall, had come from the Iponge health facility, located close to Bikoro, and additional specimens were being collected for further testing.

The worldwide health organisation said it released US$1 million (NZ$1.4 million) from an emergency fund and deployed more than 50 experts to work with officials in the country. Doctors Without Borders is one of the organizations who will assist the WHO, and the response will be modelled after the methods used in a 2017 Ebola outbreak that occurred in another DRC province. "Working with partners and responding early and in a coordinated way will be vital to containing this deadly disease".

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.

WHO and local officials were able to quickly control last year's outbreak in an isolated part of the country, though the 2013-2016 swept through densely populated areas, devastating Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone and sparking a US debate about travel bans and whether to quarantine returning health workers.

"We still dispose of the well trained human resources that were able to rapidly control previous epidemics", it said. Health facilities in Bikoro have very limited functionality, and rely on global organizations to provide supplies that frequently stock out.

The worst-ever Ebola outbreak started in December 2013 in southern Guinea before spreading to two neighbouring west African countries, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

World Health Organization plans to deploy epidemiologists, logisticians, clinicians, infection prevention and control experts, risk communications experts and vaccination support teams in the coming days, said the statement.

A new Ebola outbreak has killed 17 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo as of May 3.

The experts took five samples in Bikoro in the North-West of the country for laboratory analysis at the National Institute of biological studies.


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