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Health workers are sprayed with chlorine after leaving an isolation ward with suspected Ebola patients at Bikoro Hospital - the epicenter of the latest Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Until now, the outbreak was confined to remote areas, where Ebola, which is spread by bodily fluids, travels more slowly.

In a related development, the first batch of 4,000 experimental Ebola vaccines to combat the outbreak Ebola arrived the DRC about 24-hours ago.

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 worldwide level. The other death was a suspected case in Wangata, a suburb of Mbandaka on the Congo River, the ministry said. But "urban Ebola can result in an exponential increase in cases in a way that rural Ebola struggles to do".

Mr Salama, the WHO's deputy director-general for emergency response, said Mbandaka's location on the River Congo 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.




"If you remember from the previous outbreak, it took a whole lot for the worldwide community to understand it's a risky disease.Today it seems as if as soon as the first case was declared at least a lot of people are coming in to help", said Axelle Ronsse of the organisation. An initial €1.5 million will provide logistics support to the World Health Organization (WHO), and a further €130,000 offered to the International Federation of the Red Cross for life-saving interventions by the Congolese Red Cross.

The vaccine, from pharmaceutical firm Merck, is unlicensed but was effective in limited trials during the West Africa outbreak. One challenge will be keeping the vaccine cold in a region with poor infrastructure and patchy electricity. Under the supervision are already more than five hundred people. The virus was initially transmitted to people from wild animals, including bats and monkeys.

WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said on Friday that Congo's Ministry of Health had provided updated figures: 45 cases overall since April 4, including 14 confirmed, 10 suspected and 21 probable.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said it was preparing for the "worst case scenario", as it responds to the Ebola outbreak in the DRC.

Symptoms include fever, diarrhea, muscle pain and at times internal and external bleeding.


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