Published Date: 2003-11-06 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Ebola hemorrhagic fever - Congo Rep (25): susp
Archive Number: 20031106.2748
EBOLA HEMORRHAGIC FEVER - CONGO REP. (25): SUSPECTED
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: 5 Nov 2003
From: ProMED-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Source: The Star (Malaysia) / AP [edited]
Ebola suspected in death of 7 in Republic of Congo
7 people have died in the Republic of Congo from what could be another
outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus, health ministry officials said
Wednesday. The 7 died 31 Oct 2003 in the remote northern Cuvette West
region, which was struck by Ebola earlier this year.
5 members of a single family died 31 Oct 2003 in Mbanza, about 900
kilometres (550 miles) north east of the capital, Brazzaville. 2 nurses who
treated them at a clinic in the nearby village of Mbomo also died. A health
ministry letter sent to the World Health Organization, obtained by the
Associated Press, said the victims displayed symptoms of a hemorrhagic
fever similar to Ebola. Public health chief Damase Bozongo said it was not
yet clear what caused the deaths and the presence of Ebola had not been
The health ministry letter, which said 15 cases were reported in all,
called on the World Health Organization to donate supplies for a team of
Congolese specialists headed Thursday to the area to determine why the 7 died.
In June 2003, Republic of Congo authorities announced the end of an Ebola
epidemic that killed more than 120 people in the same Cuvette West region,
located in the central African nation's northern forests. That epidemic,
believed to have been sparked by contact with infected gorilla flesh --
consumed in many parts of Africa -- broke out in January.
The viral disease is one of the world's deadliest, causing rapid death
through massive blood loss in up to 90 per cent of those infected. Ebola
spreads through bodily fluids, generally kills rapidly, and has so far
afflicted remote regions of Africa, meaning the disease has burned out
before spreading great distances.
WHO says more than 1000 people have died of Ebola since the virus was first
identified in 1976 in western Sudan and in a region of neighboring Congo.