Millennium Post

UN health agency says Ebola toll at 31 in Congo

A deadly outbreak of the Ebola virus has killed 31 people in northeastern Congo, more than doubling the death toll from a week ago, the UN health agency said on Friday.

There have been 69 cases in all including nine confirmed by a lab, the World Health Organization said, and five of the deaths have been confirmed by lab work.

The Ebola virus has no cure and is deadly in 40 per cent to 90 per cent of cases. The disease causes severe internal bleeding. ‘The situation is serious,’ Fadela Chaib, a spokeswoman for the Geneva-based agency, told reporters.

She said it was unusual that the first person to be infected was a health worker. Normally someone working outside would have been the first, as has mostly been the case in the eight previous Ebola epidemics in Congo since the first discovery of it in 1976. This is the first outbreak in the Haut-Uele territory, in northeastern Congo. Authorities had said last week that 15 people had died in northeastern Congo, where the tradition of washing and displaying of corpses before funerals spreads the epidemic.


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