May 23, 2018

Ebola fears rise as outbreak reaches major city

17 May 2018, 02:15 | Winifred Adams

BREAKING: New Ebola OUTBREAK causes fatalities as disease enters 'NEW PHASE'

Ebola vaccine in the arm

Mbandaka is a crossroads between the northwestern province of Equateur and the neighboring provinces.

The worst-ever Ebola outbreak started in December 2013 in southern Guinea before spreading to neighbouring west African countries Liberia and Sierra Leone, killing more than 11,300 people out of almost 29,000 registered cases. 42 people have been infected so far.

The Ebola outbreak in Congo has has entered a "new phase", spreading from the countryside into the city Mbandaka, with a population of nearly 1 million people, the health minister said.

The country's Health Minister, Oly Ilunga Kalenga, confirmed a case in Mbandaka, a city of a million people about 130km (80 miles) from the area where the first cases were confirmed earlier this month.

This Ebola recurrence is the ninth DRC has faced in 4 decades after the first in 1976.

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World Health Organization estimates that no less than 39 suspected, probable or confirmed cases of Ebola have been recorded in the DRC between April 4 and May 13. As per the report, epidemiologists are working to identify additional contacts to the 500 already identified.

She says two cases of Ebola are confirmed, 20 are probable and 20 are suspected.

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

The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.

Chief executive Doctor Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus visited the affected Bikoro area last weekend, saying he hoped for a "better way out" of the latest outbreak in DRC. "WHO and our partners are taking decisive action to stop further spread of the virus".

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