Monday, 21 May, 2018

World Health Organization says Ebola outbreak has spread to a Congo city

Congo Ebola outbreak spreads to a city raising infection danger A health worker wears protective equipment at Bikoro Hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo on May 12
Johnnie Parks | 17 May, 2018, 13:58

Congo's health ministry says 4,000 doses of the experimental Ebola vaccine have arrived in the capital, Kinshasa, amid the latest outbreak of the deadly disease.

"One new case of Ebola virus disease has been confirmed in Wangata, one of the 3 health zones of Mbandaka, a city of almost 1.2 million people in Equateur Province in northwestern Democratic Republic of the Congo", the UN's health agency said in a statement.

So far, 23 deaths have been recorded in the Democratic Republic of Congo's latest Ebola outbreak, the ninth since the disease made its first-known appearance near its northern Ebola river in the 1970s.

. Ebola is spread by contact with the bodily fluids of people exhibiting symptoms.

The World Health Organization sent 5,400 doses of the experimental Ebola vaccine to Congo on Wednesday, according to the health minister.

Apart from this, the virus outbreak occurred in an area with a traffic of about 7,000 persons a week by different means, which represents a significant risk of further spread, the health official stressed.

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Before this announcement, all confirmed Ebola cases were reported in the Bikoro health zone, where health facilities are limited and affected areas are hard to reach.

"Since the announcement of the alert in Mbandaka, our epidemiologists are working in the field with community relays to identify people who have been in contact with suspected cases", he said.

Ilunga said Congo now is entering an urban phase of the outbreak, with higher spread potential.

Out of the 20 persons died in DRC, 3 are health workers, Director of the Center John Nkengasong said.

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