Dead, 39 Sick in New Outbreak: Death Rate at 50 Percent

Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki /FILE

Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki /FILE

The World Health Organisation has on Monday reported that 39 cases of suspected Ebola outbreak were reported in the Democratic Republic of Congo between April 4 and May 13.

The declaration followed laboratory results that confirmed two cases of the disease. Jasarevic stated that most cases of the disease were from Bikoro Health Zone and a smaller number from the neighboring Iboko Health Zone in Equateur province.

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Upon learning of the lab results, World Health Organization established its Incident Management System to fully dedicate staff and resources across the organisation to the response. The agency is now deploying 50 public health experts to support the Ministry of Health with various "response activities", the statement added. It will also be determining supply needs and help fill gaps and has alerted neighbouring countries.

EVD, formerly known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans. Case fatality rates have varied from 25 to 90 percent in past outbreaks. The 2014-2016 outbreak in West Africa involved major urban areas as well as rural ones.

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Ebola then spreads through human-to-human transmission via direct contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and with surfaces and materials contaminated with these fluids.

The DRC's deforestation may also facilitate the spread of the Ebola virus since virus-infected fruit bats have to look for new living spaces, thus increasing the possibility of contact with humans. It was tested in Guinea in 2015 during an Ebola epidemic that killed more than 11,300 people in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

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