Ebola outbreak claims more lives in DR Congo

Health minister says at least nine people have been killed by Ebola virus near country's border with Uganda.

    Nine people have died from an outbreak of the Ebola virus in the northern Democratic Republic of Congo, the country's health minister has said.

    The deaths announced on Saturday were among 11 "probable or confirmed" cases detected in the town of Isiro, Felix Kabangue was quoted as saying in a statement released by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

    Teams of doctors from the health ministry, the WHO, aid group Doctors Without Borders and the US-based Centres for Disease Control and Prevention were treating those infected, the statement added.

    In western Uganda, about 50km from the border with the DRC, 16 people have died from the virus since the start of July, although authorities say the outbreak there has been brought under control.

    There is no treatment and no vaccine against Ebola, which is transmitted by close personal contact.

    Ebola is fatal in about 50 to 90 per cent of cases, with victims bleeding from body orifices before dying in the most severe instances. It is transmitted to humans from monkeys and birds.

    The rare hemorrhagic disease, named after a small river in the DRC, killed 37 people in western Uganda in 2007 and at least 170 in the north of the country in 2000.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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