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Ebola claims 147 lives in Congo

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Ebola on the rampage



Without any end to the epidemic, the number of deaths from Ebola has reached 147 (35 of them probable), the Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of Congo (RDC) announced on Saturday.

In Twitter, the agency reported the deaths of three others in Beni city, which removed the epicentre status of the outbreak last month from the rural town of Mangina, both in North Kivu province.

The number of cases with hemorrhagic fever has reached 227, with 192 confirmed and 58 cured, according to the most updated data.

Some 40 people are suspected of having contracted the disease, which is 90 per cent lethal. They are all waiting for laboratory tests.

Health Minister Oly Ilunga relaunched on Friday the campaign to raise awareness of the response against Ebola in Beni, a city in the northeast of Congo with more than one million inhabitants.

The tenth outbreak of the disease was reported on Aug. 1 in Mangina, just 30 kilometers from Beni.

In addition to being an area dominated by irregular armed forces, entire neighborhoods have refused to receive attention from health teams or preventive vaccination.

While in the rest of the affected territories, which includes the neighboring province of Ituri, the number of contacts of the sick is more than 90 per cent, in Beni it is only 78 percent.

The DRC has already suffered 10 epidemics since the disease was discovered in 1976, two of them this year (the previous one in May in the northwestern province of Ecuador), but this is the fourth deadliest and the first to occur in territory affected by the armed conflict.

The most lethal occurred in 1976 in Yambuku, in the north of the country, with 318 patients and 280 deaths.

Highly infectious, the Ebola virus is transmitted by contact with fluids from infected people and animals. The host can be either alive or dead.

Source: NAN

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