Suspected Ebola cases rise to 29 in Congo
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