The Ebola superhighway: Why the new outbreak terrifies public health authorities | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


The Ebola superhighway: Why the new outbreak terrifies public health authorities

Ministry of Health officials first identified cases of viral hemorrhagic fever when it reached the town of Bikoro earlier this month. On Thursday, officials said a new case had been identified in Mbandaka, a city of 1.2 million.

The new case in Mbandaka has raised the alarm among public health officials because it is the first time the virus has ever landed in a city that sits directly on the Congo River.

In all eight of the previous known Ebola outbreaks in Congo, the virus has been contained within remote jungle villages or relatively small towns, where isolated populations are less likely to spread the disease.

But the Congo River is effectively the region’s highway system. Barges and boats travel from Kisangani in the east through major cities including Bumba, Mbandaka — and eventually Kinshasa, the capital of Congo and home to more than 11 million people, as well as Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo.

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