News and updates from the continent


WHO calls Africa’s Ebola outbreak ‘unprecedented’

WHO calls Africa’s Ebola outbreak ‘unprecedented’

Aug 27, 2014

According to BBC reports, The Democratic Republic of Congo has confirmed that an outbreak of haemorrhagic fever in the north of the country has now been identified as Ebola.

Health Minister Felix Numbi told the BBC that tests on two individuals had confirmed the disease in the isolated Equateur province, where 13 people have already died. Dr Numbi added that a quarantine zone was being implemented to contain the disease, but that the strain DRC is dealing with may be a “different strain to West Africa’s”.

These are the first reported outside West Africa since the outbreak started there and some 1,427 people have died from the virus. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that the extent of the outbreak has been “unprecedented”, with an estimated 2,615 people in West Africa becoming infected with Ebola since March 2014.

On Friday 22 August, South Africa imposed a travel ban on foreign nationals travelling from high-risk West African countries to prevent the spread of Ebola. The countries identified as high-risk countries are Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Kenya, Nigeria, and Ethiopia were identified as medium-risk.

On Sunday 24 August, a British health worker infected with Ebola in Sierra Leone was transported home to the UK on an RAF jet. This is the first confirmed case of a Briton contracting the virus during the current outbreak.

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