Ebola claims up to 33 lives in DR Congo: health ministry

September 27, 2012

An outbreak of Ebola fever in the Democratic Republic of Congo may have killed up to 33 people, while the number of suspected cases has risen, the health ministry said on Thursday.

A total of 79 cases was recorded, including 19 confirmed positive after , 32 probable cases and 28 suspected cases, while 33 deaths were registered by September 25, the ministry announced. Seven of the deaths were proven to be caused by Ebola.

The (WHO) said that the was almost 42 percent.

The WHO added that a baby born prematurely in the isolation centre in Isiro—the epicentre of the epidemic in northeastern DR Congo—to a mother infected by the had died on Thursday, the statement said.

In DR Congo, it was the first time a pregnant Ebola patient had given birth, because "Ebola and pregnancy are almost incompatible", Health Minister Felix Kabange Numbi said after the baby was born.

To date, there is no treatment nor vaccine for Ebola, which kills between 25 percent and 90 percent of patients depending on the strain of the virus. There have been eight outbreaks in DR Congo.

The disease is transmitted by direct contact with blood, faeces and sweat, by sexual contact and by unprotected handling of contaminated corpses.

Currently, 167 people who have been in contact with the 79 reported cases are under surveillance.

"We need to manage to follow all the contacts closely and regularly and to that end, we need to strengthen awareness among the population," Benoit Kebela, the head of the 's unit to fight infectious diseases told AFP.

Among the 79 reported cases, 24 concern health workers.

"We are in control of the situation, because we were able to make efforts in hospital measures - we have protective equipment," added Dr Kebela, who was on a mission to Isiro.

An epidemic was declared in mid-August in Orientale province, but the international committee for the fight against has carried out research and dated the outbreak back to May.

The ministry of health, the WHO, the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia, and Doctors Without Borders (MSF - Medecins Sans Frontieres) are working in close collaboration to combat the outbreak.

Explore further: Ebola claims up to 32 lives in DR Congo: WHO (Update)

Related Stories

Ebola claims up to 32 lives in DR Congo: WHO (Update)

September 18, 2012
An outbreak of Ebola fever in the Democratic Republic of Congo may have claimed up to 32 lives since May, including that of a woman who had just given birth, the World Health Organisation said Tuesday.

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.

10 people die of suspected Ebola in Congo

August 22, 2012
(AP) — The World Health Organization says an outbreak of suspected Ebola in eastern Congo has infected at least 15 people, 10 of whom died.

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.

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.

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.

Recommended for you

Decrease in sunshine, increase in Rickets

November 17, 2017
A University of Toronto student and professor have teamed up to discover that Britain's increasing cloudiness during the summer could be an important reason for the mysterious increase in Rickets among British children over ...

Anti-malaria drug shows promise as Zika virus treatment

November 17, 2017
A new collaborative study led by researchers at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) and UC San Diego School of Medicine has found that a medication used to prevent and treat malaria may also be effective ...

Scientists identify biomarkers that indicate likelihood of survival in infected patients

November 17, 2017
Scientists have identified a set of biomarkers that indicate which patients infected with the Ebola virus are most at risk of dying from the disease.

Research team unlocks secrets of Ebola

November 16, 2017
In a comprehensive and complex molecular study of blood samples from Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, published today (Nov. 16, 2017) in Cell Host and Microbe, a scientific team led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison has ...

Study raises possibility of naturally acquired immunity against Zika virus

November 16, 2017
Birth defects in babies born infected with Zika virus remain a major health concern. Now, scientists suggest the possibility that some women in high-risk Zika regions may already be protected and not know it.

A structural clue to attacking malaria's 'Achilles heel'

November 16, 2017
Researchers from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and PATH's Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI) have shed light on how the human immune system recognizes the malaria parasite though investigation of antibodies generated ...

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.