The World Health Organization says the outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo has spread to a city, raising fears of a new epidemic of the deadly virus.
The new case has been confirmed in one of three health zones in Mbandaka, a city of more than one million people in the northwestern province of Equateur. Mbandaka is located about 150 kilometers from the rural area of Bikoro, where the outbreak was detected earlier this month.
WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called it a concerning development.
The agency says it is deploying about 30 experts to conduct surveillance in the city. An initial batch of 4,000 experimental Ebola vaccines arrived Wednesday in the capital, Kinshasha.
A total of 44 confirmed, probable or suspected cases of Ebola have been reported since the outbreak was detected, including 23 deaths.
The worst Ebola outbreak since the virus was first identified in 1974 occurred in 2014, when more than 11,000 people died in the West African nations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.