EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE - DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (16): (ORIENTALE)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Thu 27 Sep 2012
Source: News24 Africa, Agence France-Presse report [edited]
Ebola claims more lives in DRC
An outbreak of Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC] may have killed up to 33 people, while the number of suspected cases has risen, the health ministry said on Thursday [27 Sep 2012]. A total of 79 cases have been recorded, including 19 confirmed positive after laboratory analysis, 32 probable cases and 28 suspected cases, while 33 deaths were registered by 25 Sep 2012, the Ministry announced. 17 of the deaths were confirmed to be caused by Ebola virus infection. The World Health Organisation (WHO) said that the fatality rate was almost 42 percent. The WHO added that a baby born prematurely in the isolation centre in Isiro -- the epicentre of the epidemic in northeastern DRC -- to a mother infected by Ebola virus had died on Thursday, the statement said. In DRC, it was the 1st time a pregnant Ebola disease patient had given birth, because "Ebola disease and pregnancy are almost incompatible," Health Minister Felix Kabange Numbi said after the baby was born.
To date, there is no treatment nor vaccine for Ebola disease, which kills between 25 percent and 90 percent of patients depending on the strain of the virus. There have been 8 outbreaks in the DRC. The disease is transmitted by direct contact with blood, faeces and sweat, by sexual contact and by unprotected handling of contaminated corpses. Currently, 167 people who have been in contact with the 79 reported cases are under surveillance.
"We need to manage to follow all the contacts closely and regularly and to that end, we need to strengthen awareness among the population," Benoit Kebela, the head of the health ministry's unit to fight infectious diseases told Agence France-Presse. Among the 79 reported cases, 24 concern health workers. "We are in control of the situation, because we were able to make efforts in hospital measures -- we have protective equipment," added Dr Kebela, who was on a mission to Isiro.
An epidemic was declared in mid-August in Orientale province, but the international committee for the fight against Ebola has carried out research and dated the outbreak back to May . The ministry of health, the WHO, the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia, and Doctors Without Borders (MSF - Medecins Sans Frontieres) are working in close collaboration to combat the outbreak.
- -- Communicated by: ProMED-mail Rapporteur Kunihiko Iizuka
[The number of suspected cases continues to increase. Since the previous WHO report of 24 Sep 2012 (Ebola virus disease - Congo DR (15): (OR) WHO 20120927.1312872) the number of reported cases has increased from 46 to 79, although the actual numbers of confirmed and suspected cases remain 19 and 32 respectively. The number of fatalities has increased from 19 (6 confirmed) to 33 (17 confirmed). All the cases identified so far remain confined to the health zones of Isiro and Viadana in Haut-Uele district in Orientale Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
A map of the provinces of DRC is available at: <http://www.mapsofworld.com/democratic-republic-of-congo/democratic-republic-of-congo-political-map.html>, and the interactive ProMED-mail/HealthMap can be accessed at:
http://healthmap.org/r/1Ahy. - Mod.CP]
Ebola virus graphic courtesy of Russell Kightley Media