Losing Control

Ebola Spreads to City, Sparking Fears of Widespread Outbreak

International health experts fear they are losing control of an ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo after authorities confirmed the lethal virus had spread from the countryside to a city where a million people live. Health Minister Oly Ilunga Kalenga confirmed a case in Mbandaka, which is about 130km from the area where the outbreak’s first cases were confirmed this month. Twenty-three people have died and 42 have been infected. Mbandaka is a major transportation hub, sparking fears the disease could easily spread to the capital Kinshasa and elsewhere. “This is a major development in the outbreak,” said senior World Health Organization official Peter Salama. “We have urban ebola, which is a very different animal from rural ebola. The potential for an explosive increase in cases is now there.”