New Ebola outbreak declared as two killed and thousands at risk

A NEW Ebola outbreak has been declared as two people have died.

Hundreds who were in contact with them are at risk, after the deadly virus re-emerged in Africa.

The Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo declared an outbreak this month.

The first patient, a 31-year-old man, started feeling ill on April 5, before dying on April 21.

A second patient, a 25-year-old woman then become unwell on April 13, displaying Ebola symptoms.

She was treated at home for five days, and visited a prayer house, a health centre, a pharmacy and a nurse's home.

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This patient, a family member of the first case, tragically died on April 25.

Health officials have so far found hundreds of people who were in contact with both cases.

Ebola virus disease is present in animal reservoirs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and before this outbreak, the country had reported 13 since 1976. 

The virus has an incubation period of two to 21 days, meaning symptoms can take up to three weeks to appear from the time of infection.

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Early symptoms of Ebola include:

  • fever
  • headache
  • muscle pain
  • sore throat
  • weakness

They are similar to those of other diseases, making diagnosis tricky in some cases.

Later as the disease progresses, it can cause:

  • diarrhoea
  • vomiting
  • rash
  • impaired kidney and liver function
  • stomach pain
  • internal and external bleeding

The Ebola virus disease – previously called Ebola haemorrhagic fever – is a viral infection that occurs in humans and primates.

It causes an acute, serious illness which is often fatal when left untreated.

The virus begins with symptoms including fever, intense fatigue, muscle pain and a sore throat, before progressing to vomiting and diarrhoea as well as internal and external bleeding.

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The virus is part of the Filoviridae family, which also includes the Marburg virus.

It was first detected in regions close to the River Ebola, which gave the disease its name.

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