DR Congo: teams on ground to allow for quicker diagnosis of disease – UN

20 September 2007

The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners now have substantial teams in the field in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where nine cases of the deadly Ebola virus has been confirmed, it was announced today.

The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners now have substantial teams in the field in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where nine cases of the deadly Ebola virus has been confirmed, it was announced today.

“There will soon be two fully-functioning labs on the ground, which will allow for quicker diagnosis of disease,” UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters in New York.

Of some 400 cases of illness and 170 deaths reported since April in the western Kasai Province, nine cases of the haemorrhagic Ebola virus, which causes death in 50 to 90 per cent of cases, have been confirmed.

The Ebola virus is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected persons or animals such as chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys and antelopes, and it has an incubation period of two to 21 days.

Additionally, five cases of typhoid and one case of Shigella dysentery have been verified, Ms. Montas said. Results from the tests of 45 other samples are still pending.

 

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