Africa

Ten confirmed Ebola deaths in Congo

A nurse working with the World Health Organization (WHO) shows a bottle containing Ebola vaccine. Source: Getty Images

The number of deaths confirmed to have been caused by the latest outbreak of the destructive Ebola virus in Congo has risen to 10.

The health ministry of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has announced that the number of deaths that have been confirmed to have been caused by the latest outbreak of the destructive Ebola virus has risen to 10, out of a total of 35 confirmed cases detected throughout the African country.

The latest figures bring the number of people who have died showing Ebola infection symptoms up to 23, after the inclusion of the latest confirmed death, which occurred in the western Iboko region.

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What is The total number of possible Ebola cases, including those that have yet to be confirmed, stands at 54 on Saturday: six are suspected cases, 13 are considered likely and 35 have been confirmed by laboratory tests using biological samples.The three affected areas are the rural Bikoro and Iboko regions and the large city of Mbandaka, capital of the northwestern Equateur province with a population of 350,000 that constitutes a major thoroughfare for transport and trade along the Congo River.An ongoing vaccination campaign was prioritising the inoculation of health workers, people who have had contact with those infected by the virus, and people who have had contact with the other contacts, a process known as ring vaccination.[node_list title=

According to the health ministry, the experimental vaccines _ named rVSV-ZEBOV _ were being used in the country for the first time since their development two years ago by Merck and Co, although they had been tested in Guinea-Conakry following the epidemic that ravaged the West African nation between 2014-16.

Health Minister Oly Ilunga visited Mbandaka on Friday to receive a shot of the antigens in order to "set an example for the entire community," the ministry said.

This was the ninth Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since the virus was first discovered there in 1976, when it was still called Zaire.

The disease, which is transmitted through direct contact with blood or bodily fluids belonging to infected people or animals, is widely feared for its destructive internal and external bleeding due to the virus causing severe damage to blood vessels.

It can reach a mortality rate of up to 90 percent.

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