Ebola outbreak spreads to Congo city of 1 million

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A ministry statement late Thursday said the 11 new confirmed cases and one new related death were reported in the town of Bikoro in Equateur Province, where the Ebola outbreak was officially announced on May 8 by authorities.

Emergency meeting called as Ebola spreads to Congolese city - United Nations health agency The World Health Organization (WHO) is convening an emergency meeting on Friday to "consider the worldwide risks" of the latest outbreak of the deadly disease Ebola, which has now moved to an urban area of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The emergency meeting is to "consider the global risks" of the deadly Ebola virus disease, which has now moved to an urban area of DRC. It is paramount to trace the suspect case in order to have a clearer view on how it reached the city. The city of Mbandaka, which has one confirmed Ebola case, is an hour's flight from the capital, Kinshasa, and is located on the Congo River, a busy travel corridor.

One sample proved positive for Ebola, he said. The case in Mbandaka is only the third confirmed case of the current outbreak; 20 others are probable, and 21 are suspected, bringing the total potential cases to 44. Mbandaka is an hour's plane ride from Kinshasa or a four-to-seven-day trip by river barge, according to a map issued Thursday by the United Nations.

It raised its view of the risks after a case of Ebola was confirmed in the city of Mbandaka, which the agency said was "a large urban centre located on major national and worldwide river, road and domestic air routes".

The agency said it was deploying around 30 experts to Mbandaka "to conduct surveillance in the city".

Physicians taken under the supervision of more than 500 people who may have had contact with the infected.

Only one of the 25 dead has been confirmed as Ebola, it said, adding that no new health professionals have been contaminated.

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"This is a concerning development but we now have better tools than ever before to combat Ebola", Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said of the new urban case.

The virus is endemic to DRC, and causes an acute, serious illness, which is often fatal if untreated.

The 2014-16 West Africa outbreak became particularly deadly when it spread to the capitals of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Ebola has no known cure and no fully effective vaccine. The WHO has called an emergency meeting over a health crisis of potentially "international concern".

Those exposed will for the first time in Congo receive Ebola vaccinations, the health minister said.

The vaccine supplies will be enough to vaccinate 50 rings of 150 people, the World Health Organization said.

Symptoms include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain and internal and external bleeding.

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