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The Ebola outbreak reaches a new phase and reaches an urban area in the Congo

The Minister of Health warns that the virus, which has already caused 23 deaths, has arrived in the city of Mbandaka, in the north-west of the country

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The Ebola outbreak reaches a new phase and reaches an urban area in the Congo

The Ebola outbreak that lives in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has entered a new phase of alert following confirmation of first case in an urban area, in city of Mbandaka. The locality is located in northwest of country and is about 130 kilometers from area where first cases were detected earlier this month. "This weekend, two suspected cases of hemorrhagic fever were reported in health area of Wangata, one of areas in town of Mbandaka. After analysis, one of two Tests tested positive for Ebola virus, "said Wednesday night, country's minister of Health, Oly Ilunga Kalenga, through a statement. "We are refore entering a new phase of Ebola epidemic, which currently affects three sanitary zones, one of m urban."

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This latest Ebola outbreak has already caused 23 deaths in Congo since beginning of May, all in isolated areas, which has thus far improved control of contagion. The authorities now fear that arrival of virus to an urban area complicate situation. The same World Health Organization, which on Wednesday introduced first experimental vaccines in country, has expressed concern about arrival of disease to Mbandaka. This locality is also located on one of banks of Congo River, an important commercial and transport route to capital, Kinshasa.

The DRC government has assured that it is working on ground to identify people who have been in contact with suspected cases. To curb progress of epidemic in this northwest region, country has received some 5,400 doses of experimental vaccine for people at risk, while monitoring of all access and exit routes in country will be intensified.

"The or cities of province of Ecuador, as well as towns upstream and downstream of Mbandaka have also been put under health surveillance," says ministry's communiqué. Until Wednesday, 42 cases of Ebola have been reported in DRC, according to WHO.

This is ninth Ebola outbreak affecting Democratic Republic of Congo since virus was discovered in 1976 in this country, when it was n called Zaire. The disease — which is transmitted by direct contact with blood and bodily fluids of infected people or animals — causes severe bleeding and may have a mortality rate of 90%. Their first symptoms are sudden and high fever, severe weakness and muscle, head and throat pain, as well as vomiting. The worst known Ebola epidemic was declared in March 2014, with first cases dating back to December 2013 in Guinea Conakry, from where it expanded to Sierra Leone and Liberia.

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