The Latest: Congo announces 11 new confirmed Ebola cases
KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — The Latest on Congot (all times local):
Congo’s Ministry of Health has announced 11 new confirmed Ebola cases and two deaths tied to cases in the country’s northwest.
A ministry statement late Thursday said that the total number of Ebola cases is now 45, including 10 suspected, 21 probable and 14 confirmed. It said there has been one new death in Bikoro, where the Ebola outbreak was announced last week and where the first death took place. That new death had epidemiological ties to another case. The other death was a suspected case in Wangata.
It said of the now 25 dead, only one death has been confirmed as Ebola. The ministry says no new health professionals have been contaminated.
One nurse had died, and three others were among suspected cases since the outbreak began.
The updates come after Congo reported its first case in a major city.
Congo’s health minister says Ebola has spread to a city, the capital of Equateur province, a worrying shift in the new outbreak in the northwest.
Health Minister Oly Ilunga late Wednesday said two suspected cases of hemorrhagic fever were reported in the Wangata health zones, which includes Mbandaka city, about 150 kilometers (93 miles) from Bikoro, the rural area where the outbreak began.
He said one sample proved positive for the deadly Ebola virus, bringing to three the number of confirmed Ebola cases in three health zones.
Ilunga said Congo now is entering an urban phase of the outbreak, with higher spread potential. He said epidemiologists are working to identify additional contacts to the 500 already identified.
Congo has reported 23 deaths among the 42 suspected, probable and confirmed cases.
Petesch reported from Dakar, Senegal. AP reporter Jamey Keaten in Geneva contributed to this report.
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