14 confirmed Ebola cases in DRC as emergency meeting held

WHO may declare international emergency as Ebola outbreak reaches major city in Congo

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.

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. That new death had epidemiological ties to another case.

The reassessment came after the first confirmed case in Mbandaka, a city of around 1.5 million on the banks of the Congo River in the northwest of the country.

Only one of the 25 dead has been confirmed as Ebola, it said, adding that no new health professionals have been contaminated.

The city of Mbandaka, which has one confirmed Ebola case, is an hour's flight from the capital, Kinshasa, and is located on the Congo River, a busy travel corridor.

Meanwhile, the public relations officer in the same ministry, Doreen Motshegwa, said their health officials are on high alert and have put measures in place to ward off the spread of the Ebola outbreak in the DRC.

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"All must be done to isolate the Ebola cases, especially since there has been a case in Mbandaka city", said EU Humanitarian Aid Commissioner, Christos Stylianides.

The East African Community (EAC) regional bloc said in a statement Friday it was on "high alert" following an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The current outbreak involves the same strain of the virus that hit three West African countries in 2013-15 and sparked an global panic. 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 has been shown to be highly effective against Ebola. Under the supervision are already more than five hundred people.

The DRC is at its ninth Ebola outbreak since 1976. The virus is initially transmitted to people from wild animals, including bats and monkeys. The virus can be fatal in up to 90% of cases, depending on the strain.

According to Seipone, symptoms of Ebola virus disease include a fever of acute onset (37.5oC) with unexplained bleeding tendencies from the nose (epistasis), gums, vagina, skin or eyes, bloody stools, vomiting and coughing blood, diarrhoea, deterioration of vision or decreased consciousness.

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