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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:19 am 
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DR Congo confirms Ebola cases as deadly virus goes beyond West Africa
By Faith Karimi, CNN
updated 7:06 AM EDT, Mon August 25, 2014
Watch this video
How an Ebola outbreak can start, and end
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
Two people in Gera in the Democratic Republic of Congo test positive for Ebola
Tests showed it's a different strain from the one in West Africa
U.N. agency says confirmation testing will probably be done Monday

(CNN) -- The Democratic Republic of Congo is reporting new Ebola cases in a northern town, sparking fears that the deadly virus is expanding far beyond West Africa.
Two people in Gera tested positive for Ebola, a government spokesman said Sunday.
A lab and quarantine station have been set up in the town, which is about 750 miles from the capital of Kinshasa.
A Medecins sans Frontieres worker prepares to enter a high-risk area of an Ebola treatment center in Liberia.
A Medecins sans Frontieres worker prepares to enter a high-risk area of an Ebola treatment center in Liberia.
The World Health Organization said the nation did its own tests, and the U.N. agency's lab is conducting its own confirmation testing that will also determine the strain of the virus found.
Cost of containing Ebola on the rise Son: I thought mom wouldn't make it
The central African nation said its test showed that the strain is different from the one that has killed nearly 1,500 people in the West African nations of Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria.
Experts have described the West African outbreak as the worst in the history of the virus. Ebola first appeared in 1976 in Sudan and Congo, and takes its name from a river in the latter nation.
Congo has had six previous outbreaks since the disease appeared on its shores, the World Health Organization said.
Africa has been limited to three strains: Bundibugyo, Zaire and Sudan. Though Congo has had the Zaire strain in the past, it's unclear whether it's the same one in the latest outbreak.
The WHO said its confirmation testing will probably be done Monday. Last week, 13 people died of a mysterious ailment in the Boende area in Congo, but the WHO said at the time that their deaths were a result of a "viral hemorrhagic fever of undetermined origin."
Ebola is one of the world's most virulent diseases and is transmitted through direct contact with blood or other bodily fluids of infected people.
The outbreak has forced various nations to take drastic action, including Ivory Coast, which said it is closing borders it shares with Guinea and Liberia for an indefinite period.
Senegal also closed its borders over Ebola fears. The closure includes any aircraft and ships traveling to Senegal from Guinea, Sierra Leone or Liberia.
A major outbreak in Congo would be catastrophic; it shares borders with nine nations, including Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi.
Borders closing over Ebola fears
Deadliest outbreak: What you need to know
What happens when you survive Ebola?
CNN's Joyce Joseph and Nana Karikari-apau contributed to this report.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/25/world/afr ... -outbreak/

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 5:56 pm 
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A New Strain Of Ebola Emerges In Democratic Republic Of Congo
by NURITH AIZENMAN
August 25, 2014 4:06 PM ET
Listen to the Story
All Things Considered 4 min 14 sec

A new outbreak of Ebola is being reported in the Democratic Republic of Congo. But scientists say it's not related to the Ebola epidemic going on in West Africa.

http://www.npr.org/2014/08/25/343172439 ... rm=nprnews

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 5:56 pm 
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Audio

http://www.npr.org/2014/08/25/343172439 ... rm=nprnews

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:47 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: Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:57 pm 
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11 PM EDT Interview (1 hour unless 10 PM EDT start for 2 hours)

Dr. Henry L. Niman, PhD
Ebola Spreading Fast

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:00 pm 
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niman wrote:
10 PM EDT Interview (for 2 hours)

Dr. Henry L. Niman, PhD
Ebola Spreading Fast

http://www.renseradio.com/listenlive.htm

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 12:20 am 
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Press briefing discusses confirmation in DRC

http://webtv.un.org/media/watch/daily-p ... 7903862001

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:18 am 
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niman wrote:
11 PM EDT Interview (1 hour unless 10 PM EDT start for 2 hours)

Dr. Henry L. Niman, PhD
Ebola Spreading Fast

2 hr interview

http://rense.gsradio.net:8080/rense/spe ... 082514.mp3

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:42 am 
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AFRICA NEWS
Congo Confirms Ebola Outbreak
Re-Emergence of Virus in Congo Has Killed at Least Two People


By DREW HINSHAW and BETSY MCKAY CONNECT
Updated Aug. 25, 2014 7:08 p.m. ET
Image
A man lies in an observation room at a government clinic on Sunday in Dolo Town, Liberia. A separate strain of Ebola was discovered in Congo. Getty Images
Democratic Republic of Congo confirmed a second outbreak of Ebola to the one now raging in West Africa, highlighting how changes in Africa's rural life have turned the virus into a bigger threat.

The Ebola virus killed at least two people living in the village of Djera, deep in the forests of Congo's Equator province, said the country's information minister, Lambert Mende. He added that 13 people in total have died from Ebola-like symptoms in recent weeks there, four of them hospital workers. So far, blood samples from two of the dead have tested positive for Ebola.

The cases in Congo aren't of the same Ebola strain currently seen in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea, along with cases in Nigeria, Mr. Mende said. The two outbreaks—roughly 2,000 miles apart—aren't related, he said.

Still, the surfacing of Ebola in another impoverished African nation with a degraded health-care infrastructure shows health workers' challenges in trying to contain the virus.

Even though countries in East and Central Africa have fine-tuned their health systems against Ebola, the number of outbreaks has accelerated in recent years, with 15 since 2000 compared with just 10 from 1976 to 2000. Those counts exclude incidents due to laboratory contamination.

That increase may be due partly to better detection, experts in emerging diseases say. But it also shows the possible side effects of a changing Africa—one that is more populous and, in many places, more economically vibrant.

Sub-Saharan Africa, whose parched grasslands give way quickly to dense forests, was for centuries one of the world's most thinly populated regions, with only 190 million people in 1950. By contrast, the region's population is expected to reach 950 million next year, the United Nations says.

At the same time, "land use is definitely changing—roads are being built to access remote regions, lumber is being harvested for consumptive use and to clear areas for large operations, like mining and dam building," said Jonna Mazet, global director of a pandemic-emerging-threats program led by the University of California, Davis and funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development. The $75 million, five-year program, called Predict, works with 20 countries, including Democratic Republic of Congo, to upgrade emerging disease detection and response.

"All of these activities bring larger numbers of potentially disease-naive people into places that haven't before been inhabited and into contact with animals they haven't been exposed to in the past," said Dr. Mazet.

In particular, China's appetite for lumber has opened up swaths of the interior. Chinese wood imports from Democratic Republic of Congo have leapt to 66 cubic meters in the first seven months of this year from just 9 cubic meters in all of 2007, the British watch group Global Timber said, citing data from Chinese customs officials. Chinese wood skyrocketed from Guinea-Bissau jumped to 51,300 cubic meters from 80 cubic meters in the period.

"You've got to change the way you build farms, roads and mines" and reduce incentives for hunting bush meat that may carry infection, said Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance, a New York-based nonprofit organization that researches the animal origins of emerging viruses.

Ebola is thought to lie dormant in the bloodstreams of bats, until humans eat either the fruit those bats have handled or animals such as monkeys that they infect. After infecting humans, it spreads from person to person through bodily fluids including sweat, blood, or vomit.

Unlike West Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo has 38 years of experience in dealing with Ebola, which was first discovered there and named after a small river that cuts through its forests. Ministry officials believe the outbreak began Aug. 11, said Dr. Mazet, whose program staff helped diagnose the two cases. When word of the possible Ebola cases reached the ministry around Aug. 20, it sent a team to investigate.

Djera is so remote that the nation's health minister had to walk there on foot. The ministry's lab then confirmed the two Ebola cases and reported them internationally over the weekend. On Monday, the government sent soldiers to cordon off the area around the village, Mr. Mende, the information minister said: "Nobody enters, nobody leaves."

"It's a very isolated village, along a riverbank," he added. "Transmission is prevented by this natural boundary."

By contrast, the first case in the West African outbreak is believed to have occurred in December 2013 in Guinea. By the time it was reported to the World Health Organization in March, there were 49 cases and 29 deaths. Now, with 1,426 people dead, it has killed more than all the other outbreaks combined and the WHO says even that toll is "vastly" underestimated.

The task of fighting two epidemics simultaneously is problematic for a global health community that counts only a few hundred professionals with experience combatting the disease. Congo's top Ebola expert is in Liberia, officials there said, helping out.

Write to Drew Hinshaw at drew.hinshaw@wsj.com and Betsy McKay at betsy.mckay@wsj.com

http://online.wsj.com/articles/congo-co ... 1408963247

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:48 am 
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26.08.2014
Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has launched a response to the confirmed Ebola viral hemorrhagic fever outbreak in Equateur Province, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The medical organisation, present in DRC for more than 30 years, is sending doctors, nurses, logistics experts and hygiene specialists to the epicenter of this outbreak.

“We received confirmation on Sunday that four of the samples our team took last week have tested positive for Ebola virus,” says Jeroen Beijnberger, MSF Medical Coordinator in DRC.

Quick response

“We are responding fast to try to isolate the suspect and confirmed patients and to start the work of contact tracing.”

Working with the Congolese Ministry of Health, MSF is setting up an Ebola management centre in Lokolia, the area most affected by the outbreak in the Boende health zone.

“Our key objective for now is to do all we can to stop the outbreak spreading and to protect other people from catching the virus,” says Beijnberger.

No link with the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has been established, although that cannot be categorically discounted.

“For now, we consider this outbreak as an unfortunate coincidence,” says Beijnberger.

“We are trying to confirm the origin of the outbreak, but at this time nothing points to a direct link with the epidemic in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.”

First phase of response

In the first phase of response to a new hemorrhagic fever outbreak, protection of patients and health workers is the top priority.

Good coordination is also required to ensure that all levels of leadership - from the highest government levels to the local community leaders and village chiefs – pass accurate and constructive information to the population, that burial teams are organised with proper infection control measures, and that contact tracing and epidemiological monitoring are done swiftly and efficiently to avoid the spread of the outbreak.

“Usually we would be able to mobilise specialist hemorrhagic fever teams, but we are currently responding to a massive epidemic in West Africa,” says Beijnberger.

“This is limiting our capacity to respond to the epidemic in Equateur Province. We need other organisations to step up and joint the efforts to support the Ministry of Health: we will not be able to do this one alone.”

http://www.msf.org.uk/article/democrati ... -confirmed

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