An ongoing outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in Africa has become much more worrying, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported today.
While previous cases of the often fatal viral disease had been found in rural areas during this most recent outbreak, the first urban case of Ebola was recently confirmed in Mbandaka, a city in the northwestern region of the DRC with 1.2 million residents.
That discovery raises the chances that this current outbreak could grow much larger, like the 2014-2016 outbreak in West Africa that ultimately claimed over 10,000 lives.
It’s nearly a straight line north from the DRC city of Kinshasa, with 10 million residents, and the river allows easy transportation to capital cities in surrounding Africa countries, including Congo-Brazzaville and the Central African Republic.
It’s the ninth outbreak to have hit the DRC since the discovery of Ebola in 1976.
Unlike the 2014 West Africa outbreak, though, the global response has been much more pronounced and rapid this time around.