Experts fear an ‘explosive increase’ in Ebola cases after an outbreak in Congo entered a ‘new phase’ and spread to a city. The deadly virus was detected in the northwest city of Mbandaka, with a population of about 1 million people, the country’s health minister revealed last night. So far, the 23 deaths believed to have been caused by Democratic Republic of Congo’s latest Ebola outbreak were in more isolated areas, giving authorities a better chance of ring-fencing the virus.
The first urban case to be announced threatens to change that. The World Health Organisation, which on Wednesday deployed the first experimental vaccines in the vast central African country, will decide tomorrow whether to declare a ‘public health emergency of international concern’. Such a declaration by the Emergency Committee would trigger more international involvement, mobilizing research and resources, WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier said. READ MORE