Congo's health minister Saturday flew by helicopter to Bikoro and Iboko to see the deployment of health workers who will be tracing those who have been in contact with Ebola cases and inoculating them with a new experimental vaccine.
Health workers hope to vaccinate every contact to effectively ringfence each Ebola patient and prevent further spread.
A vaccination campaign is already under way in Mbandaka, the city of 1.2 million on the Congo River where four Ebola cases have been confirmed. Several hundred people who have come into contact with infected persons are now being monitored by health authorities.
UNICEF staffer Jean Claude Nzengu (c.) talks with members of an Ebola vaccination team as they prepare to administer the vaccine in an Ebola-affected community in Mbandaka, Congo.
It said a weak health care system allowed the virus to spread in the first place, adding that what was needed to combat the latest epidemic, as well as the threat from future epidemics, was an urgent strengthening of health care systems and increased investment around the world.
Global development secretary Penny Mordaunt said last week the fresh support would help the central African country strengthen its health systems to treat and manage the growing number of Ebola cases.
United Nations -backed Radio Okapi reported Monday that several schools in the Iboko health zone, about 180 kilometers (112 miles) southeast of Mbandaka, have been closed to prevent the spread of Ebola.
The statement said the deaths from the 2016 Ebola crisis in West Africa were directly caused by Ebola, but also indirectly caused by the collapsed health care system through the pandemic.
Several heads of schools in the area also said they would suspend school activities to protect the children.
With more than twice as many Ebola outbreaks as any other country since the virus was discovered in 1976, Congolese are familiar with its destructive power, yet fear and suspicion of medical authorities are still hindering efforts at containment.
There is no specific treatment for Ebola.
"Some people don't believe in the Ebola virus or in the medication provided; others are afraid of it". After an incubation period that lasts between 2 to 21 days, the infected person may present symptoms such as high fever, headaches, muscular pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and in some cases internal and external hemorrhages. Ebola can be transmitted through bodily fluids from either the living and the dead.