World Health Organization says Ebola poses a 'very high' risk to the Congo public

World Health Organization says Ebola poses a 'very high' risk to the Congo public

Mbandaka had three suspected cases in addition to the confirmed case.

With the 14 confirmed Ebola cases in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the health officials are working towards controlling the Ebola outbreak in the city which has over 1 million people.

"While the WHO raised the national public health risk to 'very high", it said the global risk level is "currently low".

Similarly, the European Commission has released around 1.6 million euros (1.9 million dollars) to help tackle an Ebola outbreak in Congo, as well as organising flights to transport emergency staff and equipment to the affected areas. "An additional 4,000 doses will be deployed in the coming days with more available if needed, the World Health Organization (WHO) said".

The WHO's International Health Regulations emergency committee will determine on Friday if the current outbreak constitutes a public heath event of international concern.

Concerns about the spread of the disease escalated Thursday when the health body announced the first case had been detected in Mbandaka, a city of almost 1.2 million people.

The city of about one million people is a transport hub on the River Congo, prompting fears that the virus could now spread further, threatening the capital Kinshasa and surrounding countries.

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"All must be done to isolate the Ebola cases, especially since there has been a case in Mbandaka city", said EU Humanitarian Aid Commissioner, Christos Stylianides.

According to Seipone, symptoms of Ebola virus disease include a fever of acute onset (37.5oC) with unexplained bleeding tendencies from the nose (epistasis), gums, vagina, skin or eyes, bloody stools, vomiting and coughing blood, diarrhoea, deterioration of vision or decreased consciousness. The Central African Republic and the Republic of Congo are close by. "Urban Ebola can result in an exponential increase in cases in a way that rural Ebola struggles to do".

"This is a concerning development, but we now have better tools than ever before to combat Ebola", said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO's director-general.

The outbreak tests the new experimental Ebola vaccine, which proved highly effective in the West Africa outbreak a few years ago.

However, it needs to be stored at a temperature of between -60 and -80 C, which is a challenge in DR Congo because electricity supplies are unreliable. It spreads between people through direct contact with the bodily fluids of a person who is infected with or has died from the virus.

This is the ninth outbreak, since the discovery of the Ebola virus in the country in 1976.

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