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South Sudan on alert as Ebola outbreak reported in Congo

May 11, 2018 (JUBA) - South Sudan’s Ministry of Health on Friday says it has set up an emergency response team along the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo following the reports of Ebola outbreak in North and Western Part of the Country.

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Doctors without Borders staff remove an Ebola victim at a treatment centre in Guekedou, Guinea, in April (Photo: Seyllou/AFP/Getty Images)

On 8 May, the Congo informed the World Health Organization (WHO)of a new outbreak of Ebola in a remote area and said there have been 32 suspected cases since 4 May including 18 deaths.

Following what, WHO put neighbouring countries including South Sudan on high alert saying it is preparing for the "worst case scenario".

According to the South Sudanese health ministry, the medical team is mandated to deal with any suspected case of Ebola for emergency testing and diagnose.

Dr Matthew Tut, the Director of Emergency, Preparedness and Response at the health ministry in South Sudan, said the area where Ebola was declared in the Congo is far from Western and Central Equatoria regions which border DRC but the precaution measures must be put in place for any inconvenience.

He said measures put in place includes screening the travellers with highly sensitive equipment to identify the virus.

“People should not panic because all preparations are in place. What we need from the general public is to report to the health authorities if you suspect anyone with unusual signs and symptoms,” said Dr Matthew Tut.

Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness. The infection is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, body fluids, and tissues of infected animals or people.

The deadly disease is characterized by the abrupt onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache, and sore throat.

On Friday, WHO said on Friday it hopes to deploy an experimental Ebola vaccine to tackle an outbreak in a remote area of Congo to prevent it spreading.