The first deaths from Democratic Republic of Congo's current outbreak of the Ebola virus have been confirmed. The World Health Organization says that the first deaths from the current outbreak occurred in January.
There have been at least 17 deaths in the area where the Ebola outbreak was confirmed.
First Ebola Outbreak Deaths
DRC announced on May 10 the confirmed first death of the new Ebola outbreak. It has also confirmed that there are 11 other people who are currently infected with Ebola. A majority of the cases of Ebola have been recorded around the village of Ikoko Impenge.
This outbreak of the Ebola virus is based in the village of Ikoko Impenge near the town of Bikoro. Bikoro's main hospital said that it received four new suspected cases of the Ebola virus. Two of those cases involved nurses who had helped treat other people showing symptoms of the Ebola virus.
The total number of people reporting symptoms of Ebola has risen to 25. At least 17 of those people have died due to the disease. A spokesman for the World Health Organization Congo said that there have been cases of Ebola reported since December with the first deaths coming in January.
He added that there has been no link established between those deaths and the epidemic that's currently plaguing the country. DRC's health ministry said that it had sent a team of 12 experts to find the epicenter of the outbreak and the affected villages, and trace the new contacts of the disease. They will be providing resources for those who need them.
Ikoko Impenge is located near the Congo River, which is a major trade and transportation route. Just across the river is the Congo Republic
Other African Countries Take Safety Precautions
Nigeria placed its airports, seaports, and land borders on alert after the news of the Ebola outbreak in DRC. Nigeria is Africa's most populous country. While it doesn't share a border with DRC, it will be screening passengers as they enter the borders of the country. The government has reactivated Emergency Operation Centers that were in use during the 2014 Ebola outbreak.
Officials from Guinea and Gambia have also added more new measures for travelers going into the countries to minimize the risk of a further outbreak.
West Africa suffered a devastating Ebola outbreak in 2014. There were over 11,300 deaths during the time of 2013 to 2016 when the outbreak plagued the region.