Ebola fever kills five in northern Congo

Brazzaville- Congo (PANA) -- Ebola fever has killed five people who ate monkey meat in Oloba area of northern Congo's West Basin region, official sources confirmed here Tuesday.
The director of the Ebola eradication programme in the Ministry of Health, Dr.
Stanislas Ebata-Mongo said a medical team was sent to the region to confirm the incident after a fresh outbreak of the disease was reported a week ago.
Ebola fever, an infectious and fatal viral disease marked by fever and severe internal bleeding, claimed 20 lives in Mbomo and Kelle districts of West Basin region, bordering Gabon, between November 2001 and March 2002.
Congolese authorities advised residents of the region to stop eating monkey meat.
In neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo the Ebola fever has been recurring several times.
In 1996 it wiped out about 300 people in Kikwit area of Bandundu province.
The fever is essentially caused by contacts with primates like apes and chimpanzees.
The first case observed in Congo originated from Gabon where the epidemic was reported in 2001.
It then spread to some Congolese localities near the two countries' common border where victims were said to have had contacts with the first Gabonese patients.

11 june 2002 14:51:00

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