In DR Congo identified 11 new cases of infection with Ebola

Ebola outbreak

"The Minister of health of the country confirmed case in the city of Mbandaka with a million people in 130 km from the area where it was first recorded cases of the disease this month", - is told in the message.

So far, 23 people have reportedly died and until Thursday, there were more than 40 suspected or confirmed cases.

An outbreak between 2014 and 2016 in west Africa was the worst ever, and killed more than 11,000. "The vaccine allows us to limit the virus, so we must use it", he said.

The agency said it was deploying around 30 experts to Mbandaka "to conduct surveillance in the city". Our funding and humanitarian flight service will help get medical teams, equipment and supplies to the affected health zone which is a matter of urgency.

Mr Salama, the WHO's deputy director-general for emergency response, said Mbandaka's location on the Congo river raised the prospect of Ebola spreading to Congo-Brazzaville and the Central African Republic, as well as downstream to Kinshasa, which has a population of 10 million.

More than 110 Red Cross volunteers in Bikoro and Mbandaka are working to alert surrounding communities and disinfect houses where cases have been suspected.

In this photo taken Saturday, May 12, health workers don protective clothing as they prepare to attend to suspected Ebola patients at Bikoro Hospital in Bikoro, Congo.

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"We are entering a new phase of the Ebola outbreak that is now affecting three health zones, including an urban health zone", Ilunga said, adding he was anxious because Mbandaka is densely populated and at the crossroads of Equateur province.

"Now we have confirmation that we have urban ebola, which is a very different animal to rural ebola".

Salama and Serafini said one tricky task may be managing a scenario where larger groups of people not identified as high-risk contacts of a Ebola case might demand the vaccine for themselves or their family.

Given the signs of a worsening outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta has assembled a team that is ready to deploy to Congo once the World Health Organization finishes assessing its needs and the logistical challenges of transporting experts into the remote outbreak locations.

One sample proved positive for Ebola, he said. The agency has multiple teams preparing, with each shift in the Congo expected to last four to six weeks.

Ebola has no known cure and no fully effective vaccine.

Congolese Health Ministry officials carry the first batch of experimental Ebola vaccines in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo May 16, 2018. The dead body of an individual with virus is capable of infecting all those who come in contact and this is what has been happening in Bikoro at the start of this outbreak say experts from International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

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