Medical experts confirm Ebola outbreak in Republic of Congo

Health officials confirmed Wednesday that Ebola had killed nine people and infected two in northwestern Republic of Congo in the latest outbreak of the highly contagious hemorraghic fever.

The outbreak occurred in Itoumbi district, some 700 kilometers (435 miles) northwest of the capital, Brazzaville.

"The medical center of Franceville (in neighboring Gabon) has confirmed the presence of Ebola," said Dr. Alzouma Yada Adamou, a World Health Organization official in the Republic of Congo.

Adamou said eleven cases of Ebola, including nine deaths, had been reported in the Cuvette West region since May 7.

Last week, Republic of Congo health officials sent samples to Franceville to investigate what they called a "suspected Ebola-like virus."

Ebola is a hemorraghic fever transmitted through direct contact with body fluids of infected persons or other primates. There is no cure and between 50 percent and 90 percent of victims die.

Last year, 120 people died of Ebola in the same Cuvette region, bordering Gabon.

Ebola generally kills rapidly and has so far afflicted remote regions of Africa, meaning the disease often burns out before spreading great distances.


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