Ebola outbreak: World Health Organization calls emergency meeting

Congolese Health Ministry officials carry the first batch of experimental Ebola vaccines in Kinshasa Democratic Republic of Congo

Ebola outbreak spreads to urban area as deaths mount

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Potentially most worrying is a confirmed case in the city of Mbandaka, which has a population of about a million. The virus's presence is risky there because Mbandaka is a port on the Congo River, about three hundred miles upstream from the capital Kinshasa.

Health workers are sprayed with chlorine after leaving the isolation ward to diagnose and treat suspected Ebola patients, at Bikoro Hospital in Bikoro, the rural area where the Ebola outbreak was announced in early May in Congo.

Until now, all of the confirmed cases of the virus were reported from the Bikoro health zone - about 150km from the city. Laboratory tests on two samples from Wangata confirmed one specimen as positive for Ebola, while the other was negative.

Among the concerns of the DRC authorities, the Ebola epidemic this time in the northwest of the country has one of the particularities of the contamination of health professionals, the reaching of two health zones, to namely Bikoro and Iboko.

Ebola is notoriously hard to contain, though recent outbreaks in Congo have been managed swiftly by the World Health Organisation and Congolese health officials, gaining the government there a reputation as one of the continent's most prepared.

"Local volunteers and health workers are the community's alarm system", said Ben Adinoyi, IFRC Regional Head of Health and Care, who is now based in Kinshasa.

Though only three cases of Ebola have been officially confirmed in the Democratic Republic of Congo so far, 41 other suspected or probable cases have been recorded since the start of the epidemic. Health workers would be among the first to receive vaccinations, according to Ilunga.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO's director general, will meet health ministers and experts during next week's annual assembly - its 71st - in the Swiss city of Geneva.

DR Congo faces Ebola outbreak
DR Congo faces Ebola outbreak

Nine Ebola outbreaks have occurred in DRC since the virus was first identified in 1976.

"Ebola spreads rapidly, and this outbreak is in an area where people connect, trade, and travel-an environment ripe for spreading disease", he said, adding that swift, decisive actions by the DRC and World Health Organization to control the outbreak means vaccines are now in the affected area. Thousands more were expected to arrive in the coming days.

An outbreak of Ebola in remote Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has spread to a city, health watchdogs said Thursday, sharpening fears that the deadly virus now posed a regional threat.

A new vaccine is now available to tackle the Ebola virus.

World Health Organization is now "very concerned" about the arrival of the Ebola virus in an urban city, and has reportedly chose to call an expert committee on the subject. Doctors Without Borders (MSF), which leads the clinical treatment arm of the response, said 23 deaths have been reported, an increase of 3 since the WHO's last update. "They are our eyes and ears on the ground". This new case is linked with the epicentre of the epidemic, the east of Lake Tumba.

"They need to be activated across the province and even beyond".

Without preventive measures, the virus can spread quickly and is fatal in up to 90% of cases.

If a flight staff notices a passenger exhibiting Ebola symptoms, the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations [42 CFR 70.11 and 71.21] contain requirements for reporting death and illness to CDC that occur on domestic flights between U.S. states and territories, and on global flights arriving to the United States.

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