Deadly Ebola outbreak in eastern Congo reaches city of 1.4 million

[Ed. – Another reason to be thankful Obama isn’t president anymore.]

Congo health officials say that a case of Ebola has been discovered in Butembo, a city of 1.4 million people in the country’s northeast.

Jessica Ilunga, a Ministry of Health communication officer, said Wednesday that Congo’s government and the U.N. World Health Organization are taking immediate steps to contain the new Ebola case in the urban area.

Butembo is the largest city in Congo’s North Kivu province and health experts worry that the contagious Ebola could spread rapidly among its dense population.

The city’s mayor, Sylvain Kanyamanda, urged residents to be calm and to maintain hygienic conditions.

Since August 1 the current Ebola outbreak has seen 93 confirmed cases which have caused 54 deaths .

Health officials have started a vaccination campaign but they have been hindered by sporadic attacks by rebel militias operating in the eastern Congo region.

The World Health Organization said “substantial risks” remain in the ongoing outbreak, noting that while control measures appear to be working, health officials are still unable to track exactly where the deadly virus is spreading.

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