Ebola fever kills 10 in western Congo

Brazzaville- Congo (PANA) -- Ebola haemorrhagic fever (EHF) has killed 10 people in Congo since the fatal disease broke out several weeks ago, a medical official revealed in Brazzaville Tuesday.
According to the director of the fight against the disease at Congo's Health ministry, Dr Stanislas Ebata Mongo, three Gabonese patients who had crossed the border seeking for treatment were among the deceased.
"Some 15 cases have been diagnosed.
The death toll might rise although the epidemic has been relatively contained", Mongo said.
He said health authorities have imposed a safety cordon around affected areas and medical personnel were monitoring the epidemiological situation.
EHF manifests itself by severe headaches, fever, vomiting and fatigue, followed by nasal bleeding.
The incubation period lasts 21 days, although a patient can Die within three days of these signs.
Transmission is mainly through contacts with patients, their sweat, saliva or blood or by manipulating corpses.
Medical and health personnel treating Ebola patients are required to wear special protective gowns and gloves to protect themselves from any risk of contamination.
The epidemic wreaked havoc several times in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where it killed 300 people in 1996 in the Kikwit region, Bandundu province.
The disease originated from contacts with primates like monkeys and chimpanzees.
Congo's first recorded case was an infected woman from south-eastern Gabon.
She had crossed the border and was reportedly seeking treatment from traditional practitioners.
The disease then spread to a few Congolese districts near the border with Gabon where several people were suspected to have been infected affected after having contacts with the first Gabonese patients or with the Gabonese woman.
Health authorities observed that primates have been dying in The forest although they have not yet determined the cause of these suspicious deaths.

29 january 2002 20:00:00

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