By · Max Bearak
(c) 2018, The Washington Post May 18, 2018 - NAIROBI, Kenya - Congo has confirmed a case of Ebola in Mbandaka, a city of 1.2 million, marking the first urban case in the latest outbreak, which is now the most serious since the epidemic that raged across West Africa between 2014 and 2016.
Ebola is much harder to contain in urban areas, so this development compounds the risk of contagion. The World Health Organization’s lead response official called the new confirmed case “a game changer.”
Previously, confirmed cases had been limited to a remote area more than 100 miles south of Mbandaka, in the rain forest of Congo’s Equateur province. The new, urban case is only the third confirmed case of the current outbreak; 20 others are probable, and 21 are suspected, bringing the total of potential cases to 44. The death toll stands at 23.