Ebola outbreak spreads to urban area as deaths mount

DR Congo Ebola outbreak spreads to city says WHO

One new case of Ebola virus disease (EVD) has been confirmed in Wangata, one of the three health zones of Mbandaka, a city of almost 1.2 million people in Equateur Province in northwestern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Health workers have recorded two confirmed cases, 22 probable cases and 17 suspected cases of Ebola in three health zones of Congo's Equateur province, and identified 432 people who may have had contact with the disease.

The World Health Organisation, which is deploying vaccines in the country, had expressed concern about the disease reaching the north-western city, which would make the outbreak, already believed to have killed 23 people, far harder to tackle.

Health officials have confirmed a case in the northwest city of Mbandaka, a busy river port located at the intersection of the Congo and Ruki rivers and with trade routes to the capital Kinshasa.

Ebola is a serious infectious illness that causes internal bleeding and often proves fatal.

The WHO has also exported over 4000 doses of experimental vaccine to affected areas in Congo, with more aid expected soon, said the report.

"One new #Ebola case has been confirmed in an urban area of #DRC".

Until now, all the confirmed Ebola cases were reported from Bikoro health zone, which is also in Equateur Province but at a distance of almost 150 km from Mbandaka. After analysis, one of the two samples was positive, "said Congolese Minister of Health Orly Ilunga in a statement released late Wednesday night".

More than 11,300 people were confirmed dead between March 2014 and January 2016 in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, the United States, and Mali. It will be reserved for people suspected of coming in contact with the disease.

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