August 2014 – KINSHASA, DR – Health authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have confirmed seven new Ebola cases in the northwestern Equateur Province, bringing up to 13 the number of people who had contracted the deadly virus in the province, a U.N.-run radio station said Friday. “There are now 13 cases affected by the virus…in addition to 16 other suspected cases,” Health Minister Felix Kabange was quoted as saying by the Kinshasa-based Okapi radio. He asserted that the outbreak is still confined to Boende area in northern Equateur province, noting that Ebola cases reported recently in Kinshasa and Katanga proved negative. On Monday, Joseph Mboyo Limpoko, government medical inspector in Equateur, told Anadolu Agency that a total of four people countrywide had been confirmed dead from Ebola.
Ebola – a contagious disease for which there is no known treatment or cure – has claimed 1,552 lives in West Africa since the outbreak began in January. Most of the deaths were registered in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. Six fatalities have also been confirmed in Nigeria. The tropical fever, which first appeared in 1976 in Sudan and the DRC, can be transmitted to humans from wild animals. It also reportedly spreads through contact with the body fluids of infected persons or of those who have died of the disease. –NTA
Outbreak spiraling out of control: The World Health Organization (WHO), reported today that 550 new cases of Ebola were reported last week in West Africa, the highest figure for the same period of time since the outbreak began. The most affected countries by the virus were Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Furthermore, more than three thousand sick people were registered in Nigeria, of which a thousand 552 died, according to the WHO. The epidemic in this African region is one of the most complex health emergencies in recent years, and at least 490 million dollars are needed to try to contain the new infections, which are growing exponentially, reported the international health agency. In addition, WHO estimates that the number of people infected is much higher than those registered, and considers that about 20 thousand people are at risk of developing the disease.
Senegal -a neighboring country with Guinea- reported this Friday its first patient. A young man from Guinea who was quarantined, said the Senegalese Health Minister, Awa Marie Coll Seck. Guinea health services reported on Wednesday the disappearance of an infected person with the Ebola virus who had traveled to Senegal, she explained. The individual was already located in the Fann Hospital (in Dakar). The results of the tests were positive, so the device to prevent the spread of the disease was reinforced, said the Minister. Meanwhile, WHO is preparing a meeting of experts on 4 and 5 September in Geneva, about possible treatments for Ebola. Scientists, researchers in pharmaceutical companies and specialists in clinical requirements, professionals in ethical, legal and regulation issues, will attend the event that is based on the decision taken by the United Nations agency to apply experimental therapies in affected people. Although Zmapp is the most widely known for its recent use in several patients, several drugs and vaccines never tested before in humans are being studied. –RCA