Fears in DRC as Ebola spreads to urban centre

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WHO's deputy director-general for emergency preparedness and response, Peter Salama, had told reporters on Thursday that the risk assessment was being reviewed.

"One 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 Democratic Republic of the Congo", the UN's health agency said in a statement.

According to DRC's Health Minister Oly Ilunga, a victim of the deadly virus has been confirmed in the northwestern city of Mbandaka, which is 150km away from the rural area where the outbreak was first detected earlier this month.

Kinshasa, May 18:The number of confirmed Ebola cases of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has risen to 14 after the Health Ministry announced 11 new confirmed cases and one new related death.

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.

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It said the new death has epidemiologic ties to another case.

The ministry said just one person had been confirmed dead from the virus, but 25 people are suspected to have died from it.

"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.

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

On Wednesday more than 4,000 doses of an experimental vaccine sent by the World Health Organization arrived in Kinshasa with another batch expected soon.

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Mbandaka, a city of nearly 1.2 million people, is in a busy travel corridor in Congo's northwest Equateur province and is upstream from the capital, Kinshasa, a city of about 10 million.

The current outbreak involves the same strain of the virus that hit three West African countries in 2013-15 and sparked an global panic.

Doctors Without Borders said 514 people believed to have been in contact with infected people were being monitored.

WHO Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, said in a statement: "The arrival of Ebola in an urban area is very concerning". Under the supervision are already more than five hundred people.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said it was preparing for the "worst case scenario", as it responds to the Ebola outbreak in the DRC.

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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.

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