World Health Organization raises risk assessment of Congo's Ebola outbreak

Congo's Ebola risk 'very high' as confirmed virus cases rise

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. "These factors have caused the EAC to be on high alert", the statement said.

Until now, the outbreak was confined to remote areas, where Ebola, which is spread by bodily fluids, travels more slowly.

It said of the now 25 dead, only one death has been confirmed as Ebola.

The reassessment came after the first confirmed case in Mbandaka, a city of about 1.5-million people.

The WHO revised its assessment of the risk of spread of the epidemic to "very high" at the national level and "high" for neighboring countries.

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An Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of the Congo has a high risk of spreading internally, the World Health Organization warned Friday ahead of a meeting on whether to declare it an event of global concern. The Republic of Congo and Central African Republic are nearby.

The WHO was fiercely criticised over its handling of the 2013 outbreak and has pledged to improve emergency response.

Commissioner Stylianides has been closely monitoring the situation and has been in contact with the WHO General Director Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

It said there has been one new death in Bikoro, where the Ebola outbreak was announced last week and where the first death took place.

Health Minister Oly Ilunga late Wednesday said two suspected cases of hemorrhagic fever were reported in the Wangata health zones, which includes Mbandaka city, about 150 kilometers (93 miles) from Bikoro, the rural area where the outbreak began.

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Ebola is thought to be spread over long distances by fruit bats and is often transmitted to humans eating contaminated bushmeat - meat from wild animals such as monkeys or antelopes.

The vaccine supplies would be enough to vaccinate 50 rings of 150 people, the World Health Organization said.

With the poor infrastructure and electricity supply in Congo, the only challenge that remains with the vaccine is that it has to store it in a cold temperature.

"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.

Earlier it was also reported that as a preventive measures in the Congo was sent an experimental vaccine against Ebola.

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