New Ebola outbreak declared in Congo

New Ebola outbreak declared in Congo
© Getty

Congo has declared an Ebola outbreak after two patients tested positive for the virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced Tuesday.

The WHO said that it was working with the country's government to clamp down on any potential for the disease spreading, following an Ebola outbreak in in the northern part of the country last year.

“Working with partners and responding early and in a coordinated way will be vital to containing this deadly disease,” Peter Salama, WHO deputy director-general of emergency preparedness and response, said in a statement.

ADVERTISEMENT

Out of five patients tested in Congo, two results came back positive for Ebola. More patients are being tested, according to WHO officials.

This is the ninth outbreak of Ebola in Congo since the virus was discovered in 1976.

In the last five weeks, 17 people overall have died of suspected viral hemorrhagic fever, which is caused by several viruses, including Ebola.

The WHO is releasing $1 million from its Contingency Fund for Emergencies in an effort to stop Ebola from spreading to nearby provinces and countries. The current outbreak is in Bikoro, in the northwestern part of the country.

Congo saw an outbreak of Ebola last year, which was “quickly contained,” according to the WHO. The organization attributed this success to the quick testing of blood samples, announcing the outbreak early, a rapid response from health authorities and other factors.

Officials have sought to quickly clamp down on Ebola following an outbreak in West Africa in 2014 that garnered attention worldwide and resulted in over 11,000 deaths.

During that outbreak, the U.S. government scrambled to bring home two Americans who had contracted the disease — an effort then-businessman Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Republican threatens to push for Rosenstein impeachment unless he testifies Judge suggests Trump’s tweet about Stormy Daniels was ‘hyperbole’ not defamation Rosenstein faces Trump showdown MORE did not support.

“Stop the EBOLA patients from entering the U.S. Treat them, at the highest level, over there. THE UNITED STATES HAS ENOUGH PROBLEMS!” Trump tweeted at the time.

Trump wrote in another tweet, "The U.S. cannot allow EBOLA infected people back. People that go to far away places to help out are great-but must suffer the consequences!”

The White House’s Office of Digital Strategy later found in an analysis that Trump’s tweets marked a turning point in the outbreak, signaling when the American public began to fear the virus.

In a statement, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the agency is monitoring the latest Ebola outbreak and talking to the country's ministry of health and other partners.