- A reported outbreak of a mysterious disease has killed more than 60 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), health officials confirmed. All those people, including health workers who had contact with the deaths had also succumbed to the disease.
The origin of the disease with high mortality rate is yet to be established. It has been reported in the Kasai-Occidental. Its outbreak followed the high number of deaths among pigs and chickens in the area's rural villages three months back.
Congolese health authorities could not tell the exact number of the cases or its death toll. But majority of the cases cause fever, headache, diarrhoea or colicky abdominal pain, and vomiting. More than 50% of the children under 10 years have been affected by the outbreak.
Health experts in Congo who team up with their colleagues from World Health Organisation (WHO) have been investigating the outbreak in the reported areas where they have taken clinical samples for laboratory testing.
Besides, the world health body is mobilising support for epidemiological investigation and logistics. Measures to improve hygiene, safe water supply, safe burial practices and effective infection control have since been under way.
The lack of masks for hospital workers has exposed them to the disease. A local nurse who was taking care of infected patients in a local hospital died of the mysterious outbreak.
Some experts linked the outbreak to hemorrhagic fever which might have been transmitted during the process of washing death bodies and funerals because many people, including a local chief, who attended a recent funeral died from fever and dehydration.
However, medical experts warned that they are still investigating the disease. As such, it will be too early to connect the new outbreak to hemorrhagic fever.
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