Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Tests confirm Congo Ebola outbreak

Ebola has returned to the Republic of Congo, killing nine people since the end of April, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday after tests confirmed the presence of the deadly virus.

"The results (of laboratory tests) came in yesterday ... It is indeed a case of Ebola," said Adamou Yada, WHO's representative in Congo, which has faced serious outbreaks of the disease in the past. Nearly 150 people died in 2003.

"Since the beginning (of the outbreak), we have registered 11 cases, including nine deaths," Yada said in the capital, Brazzaville.

The latest outbreak is in the forested Cuvette-Ouest region, near the border with Gabon, where the 2003 outbreak struck.

Scientists think past outbreaks in Cuvette-Ouest were caused by the consumption of infected monkey meat. Bushmeat is a staple among forest communities in West and Central Africa and a delicacy in many cities.

Story here.

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