Ebola spreads to large city in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

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So far, 23 people are known to have died while 42 others have been infected since the outbreak started earlier this month.

World Health Organization estimates that no less than 39 suspected, probable or confirmed cases of Ebola have been recorded in the DRC between April 4 and May 13.

African Union (AU) sent today a health team to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to monitor the situation and the country " s required level of support to stop Ebola outbreak.

They would be kept in Kinshasa until a refrigerated transportation chain could be guaranteed.

The Democratic Republic of Congo's efforts to head off an Ebola epidemic is running into obstacles, with the announcement of the first registered urban case.

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He said scientists are working to identify the number of people who may have had contact with the virus, on top of the 500 already identified.

"We will intensify the monitoring and tracing of the population to all air, sea and road access routes".

Health officials hope the vaccine which will come into use for the first time since it was developed two years ago can contain the latest outbreak.

The WHO has also exported over 4000 doses of experimental vaccine to affected areas in Congo, with more aid expected soon, said the report.

On Wednesday, the authorities of the DRC have received 5,400 doses of vaccine against Ebola whose effectiveness was established during the last epidemic in West Africa. Two brothers in Mbandaka who recently stayed in Bikoro for funerals are probable cases, with samples awaiting laboratory confirmation. The vaccine will be reserved for people suspected of coming into contact with the disease, as well as health workers.

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