In the Democratic Republic of Congo, at least 10 people have died in an outbreak of Ebola in eastern province, according to a toll issued today that said 27 other deaths were suspected to be Ebola-related.
The health ministry said 44 confirmed and probable cases have been recorded since the disease broke out in the province of North Kivu on August 1. It said two suspected cases in Goma, a city of about a million people, turned out to be negative yesterday after lab tests.
The outbreak is the country’s 10th since 1976, when the disease was first identified in the DRC near the Ebola River, a tributary of the Congo.
The latest outbreak is centered in North Kivu’s Beni region, which shares borders with Uganda and Rwanda.
The area is plagued by violence – a problem that the World Health Organization (WHO) has said will hamper the emergency response. Ebola causes serious illness including vomiting, diarrhoea and in some cases internal and external bleeding. It is often fatal if untreated.