An Ebola outbreak is emerging in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and a nonprofit that studies infectious diseases identified where it could spread based on flight patterns.
So far, 58 cases believed to be Ebola, including 27 deaths, have been reported from three spots in the DRC's Equateur Province. World Health Organization officials this week started administering Merck's experimental Ebola vaccine to health workers in affected areas.
EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit that studies outbreaks, used software to identify where Ebola could spread through infected passengers. The system used flight patterns from the airports in Mbandaka, Kinshasa and Brazzaville, those nearest to Bikoro, where the outbreak started.
This doesn't mean Ebola will make it to these cities, said EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak. Rather, the findings should encourage officials in these places to prepare so they're not scrambling if it does.