No need for travel restrictions in Congo Ebola outbreak, World Health Organization says

The Nigerian government has called for heightened vigilance and intensified awareness efforts on symptoms of hemorrhagic fevers following the outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

However in a statement, Nigeria Minister of Isaac Adewole has urged Nigerian to be calm, saying his ministry is in control of the situation.

Health workers are trying to trace 125 people thought to be linked to the cases in the country's remote northeastern province of Bas-Uele, near the border with the Central African Republic.

"The federal government in response to the announcement by the WHO on confirmed cases of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has directed port health officials to step up inspection activities and to report any sick person or suspects to ensure that Epidemiologists in the states conduct relevant tests".

He said the symptoms to look out for included fever, fatigue, weakness, dizziness and muscle aches.

So far, three individuals have reportedly died; there are two confirmed cases and 17 other suspected cases.

A team of experts is on its way to the area, and health workers will be supplied with protective equipment, WHO said.

He said NCDC had been strengthening states capacities to detect, manage and respond to hemorrhagic fevers, including Lassa fever.

Both Congo and its western neighbor, Republic of Congo, have experienced Ebola outbreaks in the past and worldwide organizations have said they are ready to assist in the event of an epidemic.

Henrietta Yakubu, FAAN's spokesperson, said there was no direct flight from Congo to Nigeria.

"Of the five blood samples taken from suspected cases and analyzed at the INRB, one was positive for the Ebola virus", the minister said in a correspondence addressed to the World Health Organization representative in the DRC.

The minister noted that health care providers and the general public must immediately report any sign of illness to public health officials.

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