There has been panic as the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has spread to a large city.
Though it is just one case of the disease spread that has been recorded in Mbandaka, a city of nearly 1.2 million people, the World Health Organization has called an emergency.
“The challenge just got much much tougher,” said Dr. Peter Salama, who heads WHO’s emergency program.
He said a case in a city is “a game changer”.
Henry Gray, an emergency coordinator for Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF or Doctors Without Borders) in Mbandaka said “it is paramount to trace the suspect case in order to have a clearer view on how it reached the city.”
More than 500 people are being monitored. With Ebola monitoring, people check for fever daily and report any symptoms to health authorities.
WHO says 44 cases of Ebola have been reported in the country and more than 20 people have died.
Ebola causes a hemorrhagic fever – one that can cause internal and external bleeding. It also causes a high fever, vomiting and diarrhea. The virus spreads through close contact with blood and bodily fluids.