DR Congo Ebola outbreak: World Health Organization holds crisis talk as cases spread

DR Congo Ebola outbreak: World Health Organization holds crisis talk as cases spread

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

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is convening an emergency meeting on Friday over the latest outbreak of the deadly Ebola disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

"This is a major, major game-changer in the outbreak", Dr. Peter Salama, the World Health Organization's deputy director-general of emergency preparedness and response, warned Thursday.

The new case of Ebola virus disease has been confirmed in Wangata, one of the three health zones of Mbandaka, a city of almost 1.2 million people in Equateur Province in northwestern Congo, the World Health Organization confirmed Thursday, CNN reported.

More news: The Taliban attacked the town of Farah

The reassessment came after the first confirmed case in Mbandaka, a city of around 1.5 million on the banks of the Congo River in the northwest of the country.

Meanwhile, the public relations officer in the same ministry, Doreen Motshegwa, said their health officials are on high alert and have put measures in place to ward off the spread of the Ebola outbreak in the DRC.

Later on Friday, the WHO will convene an Emergency Committee of experts to advise on the worldwide response to the outbreak, and decide whether it constitutes a "public health emergency of global concern". "We have urban Ebola, which is a very different animal from rural Ebola".

Until now, the outbreak had been confined to remote rural areas, where Ebola, which is spread via contact with bodily fluids of those infected, travels more slowly.

More news: Militant shot dead in attack on police headquarters in Indonesia's Riau province

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

The 2014-16 West Africa outbreak was the most deadly outbreak of the disease because it spread to the capitals of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

He said the disease could have been taken there by people who attended the funeral of an Ebola victim in Bikoro, south of Mbandaka, before travelling to the city. He said epidemiologists are working to identify additional contacts to the 500 already identified.

"As more evidence comes in of the separation of cases in space and time, and healthcare workers getting infected, and people attending funerals and then travelling quite big distances - it's got everything we would worry about", he told Reuters.

More news: Massive asteroid to pass near the Earth on Tuesday night

Related Articles