- The World Health Organisation has said the Ebola outbreak in the remote province of Democratic Republic Congo's Kasai Occidental is under control. The deadly virus has to date claimed 15 lives since the first was case reported in November.
WHO representative, Dr Matthieu Kamwa said although the spread of the virus has stabilised in the province, continued vigilance and early detection of an outbreak could help with timely intervention.
There have been up to 50 reported cases of the hemorrhagic fever since the outbreak began in Western Kasai province at the end of November, but the last new case was on 18 January according to WHO epidemiologist Dr Adolphe Kongolo.
Dr Kongolo said laboratories have confirmed 10 of the 50 cases as Ebola so far, but said that some victims were buried before samples could be taken for testing, saying there are also other samples still being examined.
Early January, Angolan government put stringent measures by suspending border operations on its northeastern border with DRC as a caution against the spread of deadly Ebola virus.
Meanwhile, awareness raising about Ebola is continuing in the DRC, said provincial health inspector Edmond Mulumba, with the population being encouraged to report those with symptoms such as bleeding, fatigue, vomiting and diarrhoea.
"The population should continue adhering to hygiene measures, wash their hands regularly, use latrines and avoid eating bats or animals found dead in the bush because this is a source of contamination," Mr Mulumba said.
Ebola, a highly infectious virus causes vomiting, diarrhoea, and internal and external bleeding. It is reported that it kills more than 80 percent of those infected while there is no cure for the disease.
The first suspect case in the DRC was recorded on 27 November last year and confirmed on December 16, after laboratory testing held in Kinshasa, Gabon and South Africa.
Last year, Ebola killed at least 187 people in the same region of Congo. An Ebola outbreak in 1995 killed 245 people in the Congolese village of Kikwit. The outbreak in DR Congo was the first in Africa in several months and the fourth in DR Congo since 1976.
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