Ebola caseload soars in eastern DR Congo

September 4, 2012

The number of people with Ebola, a rare haemorrhagic disease, in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo has tripled since mid-August, the World Health Organisation said Tuesday, after 14 patients died in two weeks.

On September 1, doctors were looking into 30 likely or suspected cases, including seven in which patients tested positive for the .

A WHO report said that 169 people who had come into contact with the victims were under observation.

The epicentre of the epidemic which broke out in mid-August was located at Isiro, in the northeast of the vast country where 11 died of 18 registered cases.

Ebola outbreaks have also been reported from neighbouring western Uganda.

The disease is fatal in about 50 to 90 percent of cases, with victims bleeding from body orifices before dying in the most severe instances.

It was named after a small river in DR Congo and killed 37 people in western Uganda in 2007 and at least 170 in the north of the country in 2000.

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