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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 3:57 pm 
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70 die from illness in Congo, WHO denies Ebola link
Published August 21, 2014
Reuters


At least 70 people have died in northern Democratic Republic of Congo from an outbreak of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, the World Health Organization said on Thursday, denying that the illness was Ebola.

A WHO report dated Thursday and seen by Reuters said that 592 people had contracted the disease, of whom 70 died. Five health care workers, including one doctor, are among the dead.

"This is not Ebola," a WHO spokesman said in an email to Reuters on Thursday.

A local priest who asked not to be named said that the illness had affected several villages and estimated that the death toll was over 100 people.

Kinshasa sent its health minister, Felix Kabange Numbi, and a team of experts on Wednesday to the region after reports of several deaths.

The outbreak began in the remote jungle province of Equateur where the first case of Ebola was reported in 1976, prompting speculation that it was the same illness that has killed more than 1,350 people in an outbreak now raging in West Africa.

Symptoms of the two diseases are similar; they include vomiting, diarrhoea and internal bleeding. But the fatality rate for this outbreak of haemorrhagic gastroenteritis is much lower than the West Africa Ebola outbreak, at around 12 percent versus close to 60 percent.

The WHO, which sent representatives to the area on Wednesday together with the Congolese team of experts, said four samples would be flown from the town of Boende on Friday to the capital Kinshasa for further testing.

Medical charity MSF said it had also sent a team to Equateur province to assess the situation. MSF said it was too early to confirm what the disease was.

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/08/21/70-die-from-illness-in-congo-who-denies-ebola-link/


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 5:05 pm 
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Denial by justification of "febrile hemorrhagic gastroenteritis" (known to affect mainly canines and not communicable as to affect several villages at the same time) is hitting the wires. Commentary?


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 2:22 pm 
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#Ebola Confirmation tests for #DRC will likely come tomorrow from #Gabon

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:49 pm 
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DRC says its Ebola outbreak not linked to West Africa's

Filed Under: Ebola; VHF

Robert Roos | News Editor | CIDRAP News | Aug 25, 2014

Ebola has struck an area in the northern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), with at least two confirmed fatal cases, but authorities say it is not the same strain as in West Africa, according to media reports and the World Health Organization (WHO).

DRC Health Minister Felix Kabange Numbi announced on state television yesterday that 2 of 8 samples from patients in Djera, in the Boende region of Equateur province, tested positive for Ebola, according to an Associated Press (AP) report yesterday. The story described the cases as fatal.

Kabange said officials believe Ebola has killed 13 people in the region, including five health workers, according to the story. He said 11 people were sick and in isolation and that 80 contacts were being traced.

"This epidemic has nothing to do with the one in West Africa," Kabange said.

Further test results expected

The DRC's national laboratory reported that the Ebola strain is different from the one causing the epidemic in West Africa, the WHO said on Twitter yesterday. The agency said the government is "organizing" further tests to better characterize the strain.

More test results were expected today, WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl said yesterday on Twitter. He said there "could be 2 different strains here, meaning two different events/outbreaks."

The WHO said earlier that an outbreak of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis was the cause of 70 deaths in the Boende region in recent weeks. In Twitter comments last week, Hartl said those deaths were not from Ebola, but yesterday he tweeted that he had been given "premature information from the field." He said samples had tested positive in the DRC lab and the tests would be checked by another lab.

DRC's seventh Ebola outbreak

Djera is a collection of villages more than 1,200 kilometers (745 miles) from the DRC capital, Kinshasa, and more than 600 kilometers from the provincial capital, Mbandaka, the AP reported.

Confirmation of Ebola prompted the DRC to deploy a response team to the affected area immediately, working with the WHO and other partners, the WHO said yesterday.

The DRC has had six previous Ebola outbreaks since the disease was discovered there in 1976, according to WHO data.

See also:

Aug 24 AP story

WHO on Twitter

Gregory Hartl on Twitter

WHO fact sheet on Ebola virus disease
http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspect ... st-africas

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:21 pm 
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WHO: Dead game animal sparked DRC Ebola outbreak
Filed Under: Ebola
Robert Roos | News Editor | CIDRAP News | Aug 27, 2014

Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC's) Ebola outbreak started with a pregnant woman who butchered a game animal, leading to a total of 24 suspected cases and 13 deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced today.

The woman, other patients, and their contacts had no history of travel to West Africa or contact with people from that region, the WHO said, making it unlikely that the DRC outbreak is linked to the big Ebola virus disease (EVD) epidemic there.

"At this time, it is believed that the outbreak in DRC is unrelated to the ongoing outbreak in West Africa," the agency said.

The first case-patient in the DRC outbreak was a pregnant woman from Ikanamongo village, Equateur province, who butchered a bush animal that her husband had killed, the WHO statement said. She fell ill and reported to a private clinic in Isaka village, and on Aug 11 she died of a then-unidentified hemorrhagic fever.

As a result of local customs and rituals associated with death, several healthcare workers were exposed and got sick with similar symptoms in the following week, the agency said.

Tracking 24 suspected cases
The 24 suspected cases occurred between Jul 28 and Aug 18, the statement said. Five healthcare workers who were exposed to the pregnant woman succumbed to fatal illnesses: a doctor and two nurses who were involved in surgery on the woman, plus a hygienist and a ward boy.

Others who died were relatives who tended to the index patient, people who had contact with the clinic staff, and those who handled the bodies of other victims during funerals, the WHO said.

The 24 suspected cases and 13 deaths reported by the WHO match up with numbers given by DRC Health Minister Felix Kabange Numbi on Aug 24, as reported by the media.

The WHO said samples have been sent to laboratories in Kinshasa (the DRC capital) and Gabon to confirm EVD and identify the strain, and results were still being awaited.

The 11 surviving patients were being treated in isolation centers, the agency reported. Meanwhile, the DRC has sent field teams to the area to evaluate the situation, and 80 contacts of the sick and deceased are being monitored.

A WHO rapid response team is ready to deploy and help the DRC if needed, the statement said.

The agency did not mention anything about earlier reports of 70 deaths in the outbreak area, the Boende region. Last week the WHO said those deaths were caused by hemorrhagic gastroenteritis unrelated to Ebola, but on Aug 24 WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl said that that conclusion had been based on premature information and that samples had tested positive for Ebola in a DRC lab.

$1.5 million in UN aid
Today the United Nations mission in the DRC said the UN has allocated $1.5 million to help the country fight the outbreak, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report. The amount, which comes from a fund for humanitarian needs, could double in the near future, the story said.

The current outbreak is the seventh in the DRC since EVD was discovered there in 1976.

See also:

Aug 27 WHO statement

Related Aug 25 CIDRAP News story

Aug 27 AFP story
http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspect ... a-outbreak

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