31 suspected Ebola deaths in DR Congo since May: minister

September 13, 2012

An outbreak of Ebola haemorrhagic fever has claimed possibly as many as 31 lives in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo since May, Health Minister Felix Kabange Numbi said Thurday.

An epidemic was officially declared on August 17 in Orientale Province, when nine deaths were reported, almost all in the town of Isiro.

But Numbi said an international committee for technical and scientific coordination in the fight against had carried out retrospective research to find previous cases, which raised the death toll.

The committee estimates that the epidemic probably began in May, and that so far 69 cases had been registered, including among health personnel, Numbi added.

Out of the 31 deaths, nine were confirmed in laboratory tests to be due to Ebola, he said.

The disease, named after a small river in DR Congo, is fatal in about 50 to 90 percent of cases, with victims bleeding from body orifices before dying in the most severe instances.

Explore further: Ebola deaths in Uganda rise to 15, more cases feared

Related Stories

Ebola outbreak in DR Congo

August 18, 2012

Nine people have died in an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Health Minister Felix Kabangue said on Saturday.

Uganda Ebola outbreak 'coming to an end': WHO

September 3, 2012

Uganda's latest outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus appears to be over, the World Health Organisation said Monday, pointing out that no new cases had been confirmed for the past month.

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.

Recommended for you

Zika virus may persist in the vagina days after infection

August 25, 2016

The Zika virus reproduces in the vaginal tissue of pregnant mice several days after infection, according to a study by Yale researchers. From the genitals, the virus spreads and infects the fetal brain, impairing fetal development. ...

In sub-Saharan Africa, cancer can be an infectious disease

August 26, 2016

In 1963, Irish surgeon Denis Parson Burkitt airmailed samples of an unusual jaw tumor found in Ugandan children to his colleague, Anthony Epstein, at Middlesex Hospital in London. Epstein, an expert in chicken viruses and ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.