Fresh concerns over Ebola outbreak as Japan tests for possible victim

File The WHO said the seven comprising a woman and six of the man's children had now been taken back from Birava to Goma

File The WHO said the seven comprising a woman and six of the man's children had now been taken back from Birava to Goma

Six other people suspected of infection were discharged after testing negative on Friday, the presidency added. Goma, a city of almost 2 million people bordering Rwanda, is the capital of North Kivu Province, the region worst hit by the year-long epidemic that has killed more than 1,800 people and infected thousands more. Their family members were taken back to Congo for treatment.

The miner died last week after he sought treatment too late and was already bleeding. His widow and four children were handed over his positive Ebola test result.

The city of Goma reported its first case in the middle of July from a pastor who travelled to the city after his symptoms began in Butembo, and outbreak response teams have been intensively following the man's contacts during the 21-day monitoring period.

He warned: "If we continue on that basis, this epidemic could last two or three years".

Congolese health authorities this week said they'd detected a third case of Ebola in the eastern city of Goma, a key trade hub of about 1 million people close to the Rwandan border.

The spread of the disease to Goma in mid-July prompted the WHO to declare the outbreak an worldwide health emergency.

Travellers coming from Malawi will be monitored for the disease using a scanner, Hidayate Kassim, the provincial health director of the Zambezia region in Mozambique, told reporters, citing reports of "suspected" cases of Ebola in Malawi that have not been confirmed.

Among key prevention measures are frequent washing of hands with clean water and soap, avoiding contact with blood and body fluids, as well as items that would have come in contact with an infected person's blood and body fluids.

The government will obtain the rare but often fatal viruses, which cause hemorrhagic fever, from foreign laboratories possibly in a month or two for research at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, the only facility in the country equipped to handle such deadly viruses, health ministry officials said.

There is no medical cure for Ebola, although an unlicensed but tested vaccine has been widely deployed to help protect frontline workers.

More than 1 800 people have died in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo since Ebola broke out there in August a year ago.

However, local mistrust of health workers and attacks on Ebola clinics by armed militias have hobbled the response and allowed the disease to spread.

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