Sus­pected Ebola cases rise to 29 in Congo

New Straits Times - - World -

BRAZ­ZAV­ILLE: The num­ber of sus­pected cases of Ebola has risen to 18 from nine in less than a week in an iso­lated part of Demo­cratic Republic of Congo, where three peo­ple have died from the dis­ease since April 22, the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion said on Thurs­day.

The risk from the out­break is “high at the na­tional level”, the WHO said, due to the dis­ease’s sever­ity and lo­ca­tion in a re­mote area in north­east­ern Congo with “sub­op­ti­mal sur­veil­lance” and lim­ited health­care ac­cess.

“Risk at the re­gional level is mod­er­ate due to the prox­im­ity of in­ter­na­tional bor­ders and the re­cent in­flux of refugees from Cen­tral African Republic,” the or­gan­i­sa­tion said. How­ever, it de­scribed the global risk as low be­cause the area is so re­mote.

About a week ago, in ad­di­tion to the nine sus­pected cases, 125 pa­tients who had come into close contact with the dis­ease were be­ing mon­i­tored. Now, about 400 are be­ing fol­lowed, even as nine new cases were re­ported on Thurs­day ac­cord­ing to the lat­est re­port on the WHO web­site.

The Ebola virus causes fever, bleed­ing, vom­it­ing and di­ar­rhoea, and it spreads eas­ily by contact with bodily flu­ids. The death rate is high, of­ten sur­pass­ing 50 per­cent, par­tic­u­larly with the Zaire strain, which has been con­firmed in two cases in this out­break.

The out­break was re­ported in Bas-Uele prov­ince, near the bor­der with the Cen­tral African Republic. Cases have oc­curred in four sep­a­rate parts of a re­gion called the Likati health zone. NYT

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