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Suspected Ebola outbreak spreading

Humanitarian sources on Monday confirmed an outbreak of a viral haemorraghic fever in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC). The fever has been confirmed in Watsa zone, around the towns of Durba and Faradje, near DRC's borders with Uganda and Sudan. The first victims of the outbreak were mine workers but now there are cases reported from the wider community. An OCHA official reports that the latest figures from local sources stand at over 78 cases with 50 deaths at the "Okimo" gold mine hospital. The disease seems to be spreading. There is concern that there might be more cases and more deaths in surrounding villages, the source said. The UN World Health Organisation (WHO) officially reported 50 cases and 46 deaths as of 30 April. A medical officer with Medecins sans Frontieres-Belgium (MSF-B) Marc Biot told IRIN on Monday a team of three specialists from the organisation were dispatched to DRC to carry out an epidemiological investigation. "They will send samples tomorrow [Tuesday] to reputable laboratories to establish what it really is... The symptoms do not directly depict Ebola," he said. A team of WHO doctors are also working in collaboration with MSF and other health non-governmental organisations (NGOs). It is feared the outbreak could spread to Sudan since Faradje is only about 100km from the Sudan border.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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