Congo Government Raises Number of Suspected Ebola Cases to 42

(Bloomberg) -- The number of suspected cases of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo rose to 42 after after health workers identified two possible infections in the town of Mbandaka, the Health Ministry said.

Samples from two suspect cases in the Wangata health zone in Mbandaka are being analyzed, the ministry said in a statement emailed from the capital, Kinshasa, late Monday. The source of the latest outbreak of the disease, which was confirmed on May 8, has yet to be determined, it said.

The government expects to take delivery of 4,000 doses of experimental Ebola vaccine once logistics have been arranged to ensure the preparation can be kept sufficiently cold while being transported from Kinshasa to Bikoro, where the outbreak was first reported, the ministry said.

At least 19 people have already died of suspected cases of Ebola in the past five weeks around Bikoro, the World Health Organization said Monday. Two patients confirmed to be carrying the virus are still alive.

The outbreak of the disease is the ninth in the central African nation since it was first discovered in the east of the country four decades ago.

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