‘Ma­jor, ma­jor game-changer’: Ebola spreads to big city in Congo

StarMetro Calgary - - WORLD - On­go­ing up­dates at thes­tar.com

KINSHASA, CONGO—Congo’s Ebola out­break has spread to a cross­roads city of more than 1 mil­lion peo­ple in a trou­bling turn that marks the first time the vast, im­pov­er­ished coun­try has en­coun­tered the lethal virus in an ur­ban area.

“This is a ma­jor, ma­jor game-changer in the out­break,” Dr. Peter Salama, the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion’s deputy di­rec­tor-gen­eral of emer­gency pre­pared­ness and re­sponse, warned on Thurs­day.

A case of Ebola was con­firmed in Mban­daka, a densely pop­u­lated provin­cial cap­i­tal on the Congo River, Congo’s Health Min­is­ter Oly Ilunga said late Wed­nes­day.

Med­i­cal teams rushed to track down any­one thought to have had con­tact with in­fected peo­ple, while WHO con­tin­ued ship­ping thou­sands of doses of an ex­per­i­men­tal vac­cine.

A to­tal of 44 cases of Ebola have been re­ported in Congo in this out­break: three con­firmed, 20 prob­a­ble and 21 sus­pected, ac­cord­ing to WHO. Twenty-three of those peo­ple have died.

UNICEF VIA THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

A health worker out­side an iso­la­tion ward to di­ag­nose and treat sus­pected Ebola pa­tients, at Bikoro Hos­pi­tal in Bikoro, the ru­ral area where the Ebola out­break was an­nounced last week, in Congo.

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