Ebola spreads in more cities in Congo

Congo health minister Oly Ilunga said on Wednesday that two suspected cases of haemorrhagic fever were reported in Wangata health zones about 150 km from Bikoro the rural area where the outbreak began

Ebola outbreak spreads to urban area as deaths mount

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. The spread of the deadly virus from the countryside and into a city that is home to about a million people pushes the current outbreak into a "new phase", essentially making the efforts to contain the outbreak far harder.

He said scientists are working to identify the number of people who may have had contact with the virus, on top of the 500 already identified. An additional 4,000 doses would be deployed in the coming days with more available if needed, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.

He said authorities would intensify population tracing at all air, river and road routes out of the city.

This is the ninth time that the DRC has been dealing with the Ebola epidemic since 1976. "So it means this first shipment would be probably enough for around 25-26 rings - each around one confirmed case". Two brothers in Mbandaka who recently stayed in Bikoro for funerals are probable cases, with samples awaiting laboratory confirmation. Vaccine for curing Ebola has not been discovered yet.

Ilunga says the ministry has recorded 42 cases of hemorrhagic fever in Congo's remote northwest. As per Associate Press, Congo's health minister has confirmed that Ebola has spread to the capital of Equateur province.

The latest outbreak is believed to have killed 23people so far in the country.

Supplies sent to Congo included more than 300 body bags for safe burials in affected communities.

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

The vaccine requires storage at a temperature between -60 and -80 degrees C, tricky in a country with unreliable electricity.

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