One new case of Ebola virus disease (EVD) has been confirmed in Wangata, one of the three health zones of Mbandaka, a city of almost 1.2 million people in Equateur Province in northwestern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mbandaka is a crossroads between the northwestern province of Equateur and the neighboring provinces.
Oly Ilunga Kalenga said a case of the virus was detected in Mbandaka, a city with a population of about 1 million people.
Chief executive Doctor Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus visited the affected Bikoro area last weekend, saying he hoped for a "better way out" of the latest outbreak in DRC.
Mr Ilunga said Congo now is entering an urban phase of the outbreak, meaning that the disease could spread more rapidly and further afield.
WHO is deploying around 30 experts to conduct surveillance in the city and is working with the Ministry of Health and partners to engage with communities on prevention and treatment and the reporting of new cases.
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Before the latest confirmed case, Peter Salama, the WHO's deputy director-general for emergency preparedness and response, said the current number of suspected, probable or confirmed cases stood at 42, with 23 deaths attributed to the outbreak.
This Ebola recurrence is the ninth DRC has faced in 4 decades after the first in 1976.
Ebola is a serious infectious illness that causes internal bleeding and often proves fatal. People can get EVD through direct contact with an infected animal (bat or nonhuman primate) or a sick or dead person infected with Ebola virus. "WHO and our partners are taking decisive action to stop further spread of the virus".
Senior World Health Organization (WHO) official, Peter Salama, said the spread to Mbandaka meant there was the potential for an "explosive increase" in cases.