Experimental Ebola vaccine could be 'game-changer' in Congo outbreak

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

The WHO will be deploying about 30 experts to scrutinise and inspect the city, is working along with the Ministry of Health and also believes in engaging with the communities to prevent and treat and report about new cases.

The European Commission said it would dispatch urgent humanitarian aid to contain an outbreak of the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

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

The health ministry said two new deaths have been tied to the cases, including one in a suburb of Mbandaka.

The Ebola cases were all located in the area around Bikoro, close to the Congo River, and around 150 km- about 95 miles - from the provincial capital Mbandaka, which is a busy port city.

There has been one new death in Bikoro, where the first death took place.

DRC has contained several past Ebola outbreaks but the spread of the hemorrhagic fever to an urban area poses a major challenge.

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

The government statement said the total number of Ebola cases is now 45, including 10 suspected cases, 21 probable cases and 14 confirmed cases.

Currently, WHO said it considers the public health risk to be high at the national level, moderate at the regional level and low at the global level.

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. It can spread rapidly through contact with small amounts of bodily fluid, and its early flu-like symptoms are not always obvious. Moreover, WHO said that no restrictions have issued on worldwide travel. Under surveillance is placed, as mentioned above, more than five hundred people, one way or another had contact with the infected.

Salama also noted Mbandaka's proximity to neighboring countries, including Central African Republic and Republic of Congo.

The Ebola virus is transmitted to humans from animals and has an estimated 50-percent fatality rate, according to the WHO.

"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.

Moreover, WHO has deployed 4,000 experimental Ebola vaccines in DRC and more of the vaccines should reach DRC in the coming days. The virus can be fatal in up to 90% of cases, depending on the strain.

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