Ebola outbreak: Botswana issues travel alert to DRC

WHO may declare international emergency as Ebola outbreak reaches major city in Congo

First batch of experimental Ebola vaccines arrive in Kinshasa

Reports also indicate that 32 people are suspected to have been infected with Ebola viral disease, including three health care workers.

A third confirmed case of the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has led the World Health Organisation to escalate its assessment of the national public health risk to "very high".

The risk to countries in the region is now determined as "high", but the global risk remains "low".

"If you remember from the previous outbreak, it took a whole lot for the global community to understand it's a unsafe disease.Today it seems as if as soon as the first case was declared at least a lot of people are coming in to help", said Axelle Ronsse of the organisation.

Cases emerged in a rural area with one now confirmed in the city of Mbandaka.

The spread of the virus from rural areas into a city has raised fears it could quickly spread and become harder to control.

"What we're saying though is that urban Ebola is very different phenomenon to rural Ebola because we know that people in urban areas can have far more contacts so that means that urban Ebola can result in an exponential increase in cases in a way that rural Ebola struggles to do".

"All must be done to isolate the Ebola cases, especially since there has been a case in Mbandaka city", said EU Humanitarian Aid Commissioner, Christos Stylianides. The Central African Republic and the Republic of Congo are close by.

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According to the Ministry, "In total since the start of the epidemic, there have been 45 cases of hemorrhagic fever, including 10 suspected cases, 21 probable cases, and 14 confirmed cases", the ministry said in a statement on Friday.

"This is a concerning development, but we now have better tools than ever before to combat Ebola", said Tedros Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of WHO.

He said the disease could have been taken there by people who attended the funeral of an Ebola victim in Bikoro, south of Mbandaka, before travelling to the city.

The Health Ministry also informed that the vaccine which is still not licensed but proved effective during limited trials in West Africa will go in use from the weekend.

However, it needs to be stored at a temperature of between -60 and -80 C, which is a challenge in DR Congo because electricity supplies are unreliable.

This is the ninth Ebola outbreak in Congo since 1976, when the disease was first identified.

Notably, about 23 people have reportedly died and 42 people have contracted the virus since Epola outbreak began earlier in May.

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