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Ebola spreads to urban areas in Congo, 23 dead so far

Ebola was so far restricted to Congo’s rural areas, but an outbreak in a city area has officials worried as it could spread faster leading to higher death toll.

WT24 Desk

Congo’s health minister says Ebola has spread to a city, the capital of Equateur province, a worrying shift in the new outbreak in the northwest, AP reports.

Health minister Oly Ilunga late on Wednesday said two suspected cases of haemorrhagic fever were reported in the Wangata health zones, which includes Mbandaka city, about 150 kilometers (93 miles) from Bikoro, the rural area where the outbreak began.

He said one sample proved positive for the deadly Ebola virus, bringing to three the number of confirmed Ebola cases in three health zones.

Ilunga said Congo now is entering an urban phase of the outbreak, with higher spread potential. He said epidemiologists are working to identify additional contacts to the 500 already identified.

Congo has reported 23 deaths among the 42 suspected, probable and confirmed cases.

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