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New Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo is 'truly frightening'

New Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo is 'truly frightening'

It has announced preventive mechanisms against Ebola outbreak in Uganda and DRC. "Eight contacts have been listed and are now being followed up", Charles Olaro, the ministry's director of clinical services, says in a news release about the tragic developments. The virus can spread quickly via close contact with bodily fluids of those infected and can be fatal in up to 90 per cent of cases.

"The World Health Organization says it's shipping extra supplies to Uganda and has put a special committee on standby to determine whether to declare this outbreak an worldwide emergency", NPR's Jason Beaubien reports.

Congo's health ministry says a dozen members of the boy's family had showed symptoms of Ebola and were put in isolation.

Ugandan health authorities have been working for months to prepare health facilities along its border with DRC to respond to Ebola.

On Twitter, Jane Ruth Aceng, MD, the minister of health for Uganda, posted a statement on the case, describing the boy's mother as being Congolese, and having recently taken care of the boy's grandfather in the DRC. Two family members were being tested for Ebola after developing symptoms, with results expected on Wednesday.

An experimental drug is being used in DR Congo at least 1,300 people have lost their lives to the virus.

The boy and his family came to Uganda from the DRC and went to Uganda's Kagando Hospital for care. Some 3,500 doses of the vaccine have been shipped to the country, officials said. Congo has been experiencing an outbreak since last summer.

Efforts to contain the disease have been hampered by ongoing violence in the region, including attacks on health workers.

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Police said 41-year-old Miranda Schaup-Werner of Whitehall Township, Lehigh County reportedly died from cardiac arrest on May 25. She said she was attacked from behind, her assailant started to choke her before dragging her into a nearby maintenance room.

According to the WHO, Uganda has vaccinated almost 4,700 health workers in 165 facilities. "He is receiving treatment".

The boy's death was confirmed the day after World Health Organization announced the first Ebola case outside eastern Congo since the outbreak began in August.

"This outbreak is the second largest in history and is showing no sign of slowing down".

"A step up in the national response with full worldwide support is critical if we're to contain the epidemic and ensure the very best protection for the communities at risk and for the health workers working to protect lives", Farrar said.

The ministry of health, along with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centre for Disease Control, has dispatched a rapid response team to Kasese in western Uganda to help deal with the outbreak.

Only once before has an outbreak continued to grow more than eight months after it began - that was the epidemic in West Africa between 2013-16, which killed 11,310 people.

Health experts believe the spread of the disease across borders is just the beginning.