WHO reports Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo

The World Health Organization reported this week that as of Oct. 12, a total of 52 cases of Ebola haemorrhagic fever have been reported in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Thirty-five of the cases have been laboratory confirmed, with the remaining 17 cases listed as probably cases. A total of 25 of the cases have been fatal, with 12 of the deaths confirmed to be from Ebola and 13 listed as probable.

The cases were reported in the Isiro and Viadana health zones in the Haut-Uélé district in Province Orientale.

To combat the spread of the disease, surveillance activities have been strengthened in Isiro and neighboring areas, including Bedhe and Nakwapongo.

Healthcare workers in Isiro are also being trained in basic infection control prevention and control methods.

The Public Health Agency of Canada, through the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network, has established a field laboratory in Isiro and social mobilization activities are being carried out in schools and churches in Isiro, Rungu and Ngosaku as a means of providing information on protection against the virus.

Symptoms for the highly contagious Ebola virus include intense headaches, muscle pain, weakness and sore throat that can progress to diarrhea, vomiting, impaired kidney and liver function, and internal and external bleeding.