DRC approves use of experimental Ebola vaccine, World Health Organization says


According to him, as of May 11, "our case count is two confirmed cases, 12 suspected cases and 18 probable cases".

It said 393 people who identified as contacts of Ebola patients were being investigated.

At present, the outbreak did not meet the criteria for declaring a "public health event of global concern", which would trigger the formation of an emergency WHO committee.

The disease - most feared for the internal and external bleeding it can cause in its victims owing to damage done to blood vessels - has already spread to three separate locations covering 60 km (37 miles) or more in Equateur province.

Some experts assume the DRC's stricter epidemiological surveillance and better disease response system compared to other African countries, including Gabon and the Republic of Congo, are other reasons why the DRC has had so many reported cases of Ebola. "Case numbers will be revised as further information becomes available", the statement reads.

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WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus visited Bikoro on Sunday and positively assessed the speed with which the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo declared the outbreak.

The full extent of the outbreak is not yet known, according to World Health Organization, and the location presents "significant logistical challenges".

But this epidemic's proximity to the Congo River, a major transport route and lifeline both to Congo's capital Kinshasa and to neighbouring Congo Republic's capital Brazzaville, makes it more likely the virus could break out into a wider area.

The DRC's deforestation may also facilitate the spread of the Ebola virus since virus-infected fruit bats have to look for new living spaces, thus increasing the possibility of contact with humans.