• Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Outbreak spread to Mbandaka city
  • First time current outbreak has spread to urban area
  • Forty four cases of virus infection reported in the Congo

An Ebola outbreak in the DR Congo has spread to the city of Mbandaka, the World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed.

The city has a population of almost 1.2 million people.

WHO is now “very concerned” about the arrival of the Ebola virus in an urban city, and has reportedly decided to call an expert committee on the subject.

It will decide whether to declare a “public health emergency of international concern,” according to Reuters.

A total of 44 Ebola cases were reported in the Congo, up until May 15.

Ebola outbreak: WHO calls emergency meeting over virus spread in Congo

Three cases were confirmed, 20 were ‘probable’ cases of Ebola, and 21 were ‘suspected’, the WHO said.

Until now, all of the confirmed cases of the virus were reported from the Bikoro health zone – about 150km from the city.

The global health watchdog is replying about 30 experts to Mbandaka in a bid to curb the virus’ spread.

“This is a concerning development, but we now have better tools than ever before to combat Ebola,” said WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“WHO and our partners are taking decisive action to stop further spread of the virus.”

ebola outbreak virus news congo who latest update

Ebola outbreak: WHO calls emergency meeting over virus spread in Congo

WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, added: “The arrival of Ebola in an urban area is very concerning and WHO and partners are working together to rapidly scale up the search for all contacts of the confirmed case in the Mbandaka area.”

The Ebola virus is a serious illness that originated in Africa, according to the NHS.

The virus is spread in the blood, body fluids or organs of a person or animal with the infection.

It can be spread between people by touching the body of someone with the infection who is showing symptoms, or has recently died.

Cleaning up body fluids – blood, stools, urine or vomit – could also cause someone to become infected with the deadly virus.

ebola outbreak virus news congo who latest update

Ebola outbreak: Symptoms can include internal bleeding, and reduced liver function

The risk of an Ebola outbreak in the UK is “negligible”, according to the NHS.

Ebola symptoms may include a fever, headache, a sore throat, or a severe muscle weakness.

After the initial symptoms, patients develop diarrhoea, vomiting, a rash, stomach pain and reduced kidney and liver function.

Patients’ may bleed internally, or bleed from the ears, eyes, nose or mouth.

If you think you may have the Ebola virus, you should get medical advice as soon as possible.

It’s unlikely that you are infected with the virus, but it could also be another serious condition, such as cholera or malaria.

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