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Congo declares Ebola outbreak a public emergency after 17 deaths

This is the ninth time the virus has broken out in the Central African giant bordered by no fewer than 11 countries.

FILE: This picture released by the World Health Organisation at the Doctors without borders isolation ward of Kampungu shows MSF nurse Isabel Grovas (L) and Dr Hilde Declerck (R) taking care of a 43-year-old patient who had Ebola haemorrhagic fever. AFP.

CONGO - The Congolese health ministry’s calling the Ebola outbreak in the northwest of the DRC a public emergency with an international impact.

Seventeen of the 21 people who’ve contracted this deadly hemorrhagic virus have died of it.

Ebola was actually identified in the DRC when it was still called Zaire 42 years ago.

This is the ninth time it has broken out in the Central African giant bordered by no fewer than 11 countries.

The World Health Organisation says it's working closely with DRC authorities to scale up operations to prevent the disease from spreading.

It says a successful model for doing this was developed when Ebola reared its deadly head in the DRC last year.

Medicines Sans Frontiers have also sent an expert team to the affected area.

A fact file on how the Ebola virus attacks after a new outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Picture: AFP.

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