Ebola Fever breaks out in northwest Congo

Brazzaville- Congo (PANA) -- The haemorrhagic fever better known as Ebola Fever, which in the last three months has wreaked havoc on Congo's northwestern district of Mbomo, has spread to the neighbouring district of Kelle where six suspected deaths were reported last week.
According to Ebola control department director Ebata Mongo, "if these deaths are confirmed, the number of Ebola victims in Congo would rise to 18.
" Dr Mongo said victims were mainly peasant farmers from two villages around Kelle, who allegedly ate some monkey meat.
"Actually six people with symptoms are reported dead, but for lack of any evidence we cannot affirm that they died of Ebola," he said.
However, Dr Mongo does not rule out the possibility in light of the intermingling of the population.
"The disease might break out in other localities due to connections between the populations and the existence of transport links through the forest," he pointed out.
The first Ebola victims were reported in Mbomo in December 2001, following the arrival of a woman from Mekambo in Gabon where the disease had broken out some three months earlier.
According to Dr Mongo, Ebola fever has so far claimed some 12 lives, excluding the six cases still to be confirmed in Kelle.
The spread of Ebola in the Western Basin of Congo aroused much concern at the regional office of the World Health Organisation, which plans to send an expert to Kelle to help the government set up a surveillance cordon around that town and its surroundings.

04 february 2002 22:09:00




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