Five more cases of Ebola detected by health officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo bringing total to more than 50 amid fears fresh outbreak shares similarities to the 2014 pandemic

Monday, June 4, 2018
By Paul Martin

Some 25 people are feared to have died already after catching the lethal virus
Officials have already branded the fresh outbreak a ‘public health emergency’
Three new cases have been recorded in Bikoro in the north west of the country
Another two have been found in Wangata – another town in the same region

By STEPHEN MATTHEWS
DAILYMAIL.COM
4 June 2018

Five more suspected cases of Ebola have been detected by health officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Some 25 people are feared to have died already after contracting the lethal virus in the African nation, according to the World Health Organization.

Three new cases have been recorded in Bikoro in the north west of the country, where the current outbreak began at the start of April.

Another two have been documented in Wangata – another town in the same region, according to the DRC’s health ministry.

The virus, considered one of the most lethal pathogens in existence, decimated West Africa and killed more than 11,000 people in the 2014 pandemic.

Officials in the DRC have already branded the fresh outbreak, which has seen 50 suspected cases, a ‘public health emergency’.

International help has poured in as aid workers battle round-the-clock to contain the outbreak, first declared on May 8.

Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres opened a new treatment centre in Mbandaka, a port city on the river Congo with around 1.2 million inhabitants.

At least three people were taken in there on Friday for treatment, according to an AFP reporter.

A mass vaccination campaign has also begun and all neighbouring countries have been placed on high alert.

The new suspected cases come after an infectious disease expert claimed the Ebola outbreak in the DRC has the ‘potential for rapid expansion’.

Dr Derek Gatherer, a virologist from Lancaster University, warned last week that the fresh outbreak is ‘reminiscent’ of the 2014 Ebola pandemic.

The current Ebola outbreak began in the poorly-connected region of Ikoko-Impenge and Bikoro. It has since travelled 80 miles (130km) north to Mbandaka.

Dr Gatherer said there is a ‘major concern’ it will spread to Kinshasa –364 miles (586km) south on the river, where 12 million people live.

The city, which is the capital of the DRC, has an international airport with regular flights to European cities Zurich, Frankfurt and Brussels.

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