Home Latest Fears Rise As Ebola Virus Spreads To City In DR Congo

Fears Rise As Ebola Virus Spreads To City In DR Congo

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The Ebola outbreak in DR Congo, has spread from the countryside into a city, prompting fears that the disease will be increasingly hard to control.

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.

The city is a major transportation hub with routes to Kinshasa, the BBC reports.

At least 42 people have now been infected and 23 confirmed dead.

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

It can spread rapidly through contact with small amounts of bodily fluid and its early flu-like symptoms are not always obvious.

The 2014-16 West Africa outbreak, which killed 11,300 people, was particularly deadly because it spread to the capital cities of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Senior World Health Organization (WHO) official, Peter Salama, said the spread to Mbandaka meant there was the potential for an “explosive increase” in cases.

“This is a major development in the outbreak,” he told the BBC.

“We have urban Ebola, which is a very different animal from rural Ebola. The potential for an explosive increase in cases is now there.”

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