Number of People Infected With Ebola in DR Congo Rises to 32

Number of People Infected With Ebola in DR Congo Rises to 32

At least 17 people were reported dead on Thursday in an area of northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo, two years after the worst ever outbreak of the virus ended in West Africa after killing more than 11,300 people and infecting some 28,600, mainly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Officials from the World Health Organisation and other global health agencies are in the area to help contain the outbreak's spread.

The Ebola epidemic virus has killed at least 3,700 people in Liberia alone, the most of any country, and almost 9,000 across in West Africa.

Most of the cases so far have been recorded around the village of Ikoko Impenge, near the north-western town of Bikoro.

The patient that died was a nurse, and three other nurses are being treated for Ebola.

"And we know the number of suspected probable and confirmed cases is significant".

"We are in close communication with our partners including the World Health Organisation, who are in Congo to monitor and respond to the situation".

Salama also said there was no evidence of a link between the outbreak and eight deaths that occurred in January and February in the same area, which had not been confirmed as Ebola.

These were sent to Institute National de Recherche Biomédicale in Kinshasa on 7 May 2018, where the two samples from Ikoko-Impenge were found positive by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay for Ebola virus on the same day.

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The new Ebola cases were identified on May 1 in a remote area of the country's north-west, near the town of Bikoro, near the Congo River.

"We have isolated the patients", Ngalebato said.

The disease is a viral hemmorhagic fever that was first discovered in 1976 in Yambuku, Zaire, now the DRC.

Ebola occasionally jumps to humans from animals, including bats and monkeys.

A Liberian pharmacist prepares an Ebola vaccine to be given in the vaccine trials, which were launched at Redemption Hospital, formerly an Ebola holding center, on February 2, 2015 in Monrovia, Liberia. Without preventive measures, the virus can spread quickly between people and is fatal in up to 90% of cases.

At the same time, WHO and the World Food Programme are working to set up an "air-bridge" to help bring in the supplies needed, he said, adding though that only helicopters could be used until an airfield could be cleared to allow larger planes to land.

Médecins Sans Frontières is setting up a treatment centre for the management of cases in Bikoro health zone.

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