Symptoms that include fever, headache, muscle pain, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain and hemorrhaging can begin two to 21 days after exposure. Salama said confusion surrounding possible links between the two outbreaks may be stem from nonspecific symptoms of the disease.
Matches against the most endangered nations such as Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone were all cancelled at the time and fans who attended Nigeria's match against DR Congo that year underwent temperature checks.
"We have mobilized volunteers and staff who have previous experience in fighting Ebola to work with the affected communities to prevent further spread of the disease", said Grégoire Mateso, President of the DRC Red Cross.
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Ebola - formally known as Ebola virus disease, or EVD - is a severe and often lethal viral disease.
Corrects paragraph one of Thursday's story to show death and other new cases of illness in Congo are suspected to be Ebola but have not been confirmed. The infection is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, body fluids, and tissues of infected animals or people. This comes only three days after the outbreak was officially announced and a week after the first reported case.
At least 17 people have died around the village near the northwestern town of Bikoro where the virus was detected this week, health officials said. In a vaccination trial during the West African Ebola virus epidemic, only 49 percent of individuals who had been in contact with Ebola virus patients could be vaccinated.
The illness brought Africa to its knees earlier this decade - with more than 11,000 people being killed in an outbreak.
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Whether experts will be able to find infected bats during the latest DRC outbreak remains unknown, partly because there may have been undetected cases of the disease dating back months; any culprit bat colony may have moved on by now. The ongoing epidemic is located in the Bikoro health zone, located in Equateur province, in western Democratic Republic of the Congo and on the border with the Republic of Congo.
Ngaleto said of all cases so far reported, seven were now in the hospital in Bikoro. Despite it occurring outside an urban area, this particular outbreak may be harder to contain because it has already spread across 56 kilometres.
Personal protective equipment has been sent to the affected region, and the WHO is planning to have mobile laboratories running by the weekend, after receiving approval from the country's Ministry of Health.
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