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Congo Warns of 'New Phase' in Ebola Outbreak After First Urban Case
17 May 2018, 02:01 | Melissa Porter
DAILYEXPRESSA new case of the deadly virus Ebola has been detected in the Democratic Republic of Congo
African Union (AU) sent today a health team to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to monitor the situation and the country " s required level of support to stop Ebola outbreak.
"One new case of Ebola virus disease has been confirmed in Wangata, one of the 3 health zones of Mbandaka, a city of almost 1.2 million people in Equateur Province in northwestern Democratic Republic of the Congo", the UN's health agency said in a statement.
The city is a major transportation hub with routes to the capital Kinshasa, the BBC reports.
So far, 23 people are known to have died while 42 others have been infected since the outbreak started earlier this month.
He said one sample proved positive for the Ebola virus, meaning there have now been three confirmed cases in three different health zones.
"Since the announcement of the alert in Mbandaka, our epidemiologists are working in the field with community relays to identify people who have been in contact with suspected cases", he said.
The WHO said the risk of the disease spreading was "high" and announced it was preparing for the "worst case scenario".
The World Health Organisation has sent 5,400 doses of an experimental Ebola vaccine to Congo, with thousands more to be shipped in the coming days. It was tested in Guinea in 2015 during the outbreak that killed more than 11,300 people in West Africa from 2014 to 2016.
The first urban case to be announced threatens to change that.
"This is a concerning development, but we now have better tools than ever before to combat Ebola", said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.
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