An Ebola case in a city of 1.2 million represents a dangerous new phase for the outbreak


ebola outbreak congo

There’s been a disturbing new development in the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Health officials have confirmed that an infected person was found in a city of 1.2 million, meaning the disease spread beyond the town it was first spotted in.
This brings the total number of Ebola cases to 44, with 3 confirmed, 20 probable, and 21 suspected. There have been at least 23 deaths.
Ebola in an urban area is much more dangerous, as that dramatically increases the possibility that the disease could spread rapidly.

The ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has entered a dangerous new phase.

The DRC’s Ministry of Health has announced that they’ve confirmed an Ebola case in Mbandaka, a city of 1.2 million that’s more than 90 miles away from the small town where the initial cases were reported and confirmed.

Containing Ebola in a small region is much easier than stopping the spread of the disease in an urban area. The potentially disturbing thing about the initial cases, in the town of Bikoro, was that the town itself was on a lake connected to the Congo River, the second largest river in Africa, which connects to cities full of millions of people.

That meant an infected person could travel to a more populous area, potentially infecting more people and making rapid and hard-to-trace spread of the deadly virus possible. While it’s unclear how much further the virus has spread, it’s now confirmed that it at least reached an urban area.

That confirmation “is a game changer in this outbreak,” Peter Salama, the World Health Organization (WHO) Deputy Director-General for Emergency Preparedness and Response, said on Twitter. “[T]he challenge just got much much tougher.”

Stopping the spread

The WHO is dispatching approximately 30 experts to conduct surveillance in the …read more

Source:: Business Insider

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