KINSHASA (AA) – Health authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have confirmed seven new Ebola cases in the northwestern Equateur Province, bringing up to 13 the number of people who had contracted the deadly virus in the province, a U.N.-run radio station said Friday.
“There are now 13 cases affected by the virus…in addition to 16 other suspected cases,” Health Minister Felix Kabange was quoted as saying by the Kinshasa-based Okapi radio.
He asserted that the outbreak is still confined to Boende area in northern Equateur province, noting that Ebola cases reported recently in Kinshasa and Katanga proved negative.
On Monday, Joseph Mboyo Limpoko, government medical inspector in Equateur, told Anadolu Agency that a total of four people countrywide had been confirmed dead from Ebola.
Ebola – a contagious disease for which there is no known treatment or cure – has claimed 1,552 lives in West Africa since the outbreak began in January.
Most of the deaths were registered in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.
Six fatalities have also been confirmed in Nigeria.
The tropical fever, which first appeared in 1976 in Sudan and the DRC, can be transmitted to humans from wild animals.
It also reportedly spreads through contact with the body fluids of infected persons or of those who have died of the disease.
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