Officials rule out Ebola outbreak in DRC
03 June 2013, 16:04
Kinshasa - A senior health ministry official in the
Democratic Republic of Congo on Monday ruled out an Ebola outbreak in the
northeast of the country, after possible cases were reported by the United
"There were six cases, including four children under
five and two adults, who suffered from fever and haemorrhagic symptoms. We have
carried out analyses at the INRB [National Institute of Biomedical Research]
and the results are negative... It's not Ebola," Benoit Kabela Ilunga, who
runs the contagious diseases department at the ministry, said.
Kabela added that further tests were in hand to determine
which disease had killed three of the children among the six cases reported
last Wednesday by the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs
"Other diseases can be associated with bleeding, like
typhoid fever, meningitis, yellow fever [and] severe malaria," the doctor
OCHA had announced suspect cases recorded between May 1 and
May 12 at Mongo in the Bas-Uele district of the northeastern Orientale
province, about 240km from Isiro, where the last Ebola outbreak killed 34
people out of 62 confirmed cases between May and November 2012.
To date, no treatment or vaccine is available for Ebola,
which kills between 25 and 90% of those who fall sick, depending on the strain
of the virus, according to the World Health Organisation.
The disease is transmitted by direct contact with blood,
faeces or sweat, and by sexual contact or unprotected handling of contaminated
Ebola, one of the world's most virulent diseases, was first
discovered in the DRC in 1976 and the country has had eight outbreaks.