Ebola kills 31 in DRC, says WHO

2014-09-02 14:34
An Ebola virus. (File: AP)

An Ebola virus. (File: AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kinshasa - An outbreak of the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo has killed 31 people and the epidemic remains contained in a remote north-western region, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said Tuesday.

"There are now 31 deaths," Eugene Kambambi, the WHO's head of communication in DR Congo, told AFP, citing Congolese authorities and stressing that the epidemic "remains contained" in an area around 800km north of the capital Kinshasa.

Health officials had previously given a death toll of 13 people from the lethal haemorrhagic fever since 11 August around the isolated town of Boende, surrounded by dense tropical forest in Equateur province.

Kabambi was speaking by telephone from Mbandaka, the provincial capital, where he was accompanied by Health Minister Felix Kabange Numbi and the WHO representative in DRC, Joseph Cabore.

The three were due to travel later on Tuesday to the Boende area, which has already been quarantined.

Seventh Ebola outbreak

Kabamba added that there were "53 confirmed, suspected or likely cases" of Ebola, while 185 people were under medical watch because they had admitted to contact with patients or were believed to have had dealings with people stricken by the highly contagious disease.

The government announced on 25 August that the DRC was facing its seventh Ebola outbreak since the disease was first identified in the former Zaire in 1976.

The health minister has ruled out any link with a serious Ebola epidemic sweeping parts of west Africa, at a cost of more than 1 500 lives, on the grounds that there had been no contact between those distant nations and Boende. The WHO has taken the same position.

Health authorities state that the outbreak is confined to four medical zones around Boende, where some personnel from the WHO and the charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) have been working with specialised epidemiologists since mid-August.

Ebola clinic

MSF on Monday told AFP that reinforcements had reached the affected area and were setting up an Ebola clinic. The deep forest location makes it hard for health teams to get to Boende, along with medical supplies to treat symptoms of the disease.

On the basis of WHO figures, Ebola kills a global average of 61 percent of those infected, causing unstoppable bleeding and the collapse of internal organs in its final stages.

While there is no vaccine, patients can be helped through the early phases of infection, marked by severe headaches, muscle pains and dehydration because of vomiting and diarrhoea.

Read more on:    msf  |  who  |  drc  |  ebola  |  health  |  central africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.