WHO holds emergency meeting over Ebola outbreak in Congo

Published: May 18, 2018 21:21:01 | Updated: May 21, 2018 11:31:18

The World Health Organization (WHO) is to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the risk of Ebola spreading from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A panel will decide on Friday whether to declare a ‘public health emergency of inte rnational concern", which would trigger a larger response.

At least 45 people are believed to have been infected in the current outbreak and 25 deaths are being investigated. 

Cases emerged in a rural area with one now confirmed in the city of Mbandaka.

The city of about one million people is a transport hub on the River Congo, prompting fears that the virus could now spread further, threatening the capital Kinshasa and surrounding countries.

Ebola is an infectious illness that causes internal bleeding and often proves fatal. It can spread rapidly through contact with small amounts of bodily fluid, and its early flu-like symptoms are not always obvious.

WHO has previously admitted that it was too slow to respond to a deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa from 2014-2016 that killed more than 11,000 people, reports BBC.

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