Ebola death toll rises to 12 in Congo

Death of Ebola Patients who Fled DRC Hospital Highlights Dangers

Fear, suspicion hampering DRC’s fight against Ebola, reports say

One new Ebola death in Congo has now brought the total to twelve confirmed deaths, according to the local health ministry.

Jasarevic said in addition the Ministry of Health and WHO had reviewed all the cases considered likely and after investigations, it turned out that some were not cases of Ebola. There are also four new suspected cases in the province, the statement reported.

But the U.N.'s World Health Organization said that more than two dozen people have likely died from the virus, adding in its last update a week ago that 58 cases have been confirmed in all.

Congolese Health Minister Oly Ilunga Kalenga flew by helicopter to Bikoro and Iboko on Saturday to see the deployment of health workers who will be tracing people who have been in contact with Ebola cases and inoculating them with a new experimental vaccine.

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The immunization operation in the rural areas affected by Ebola outbreak will commence today, Monday. We will also put together a team that can train personnel on behalf of WHO in the country, ' said Minister of Health and Care Services Bent Høie.

Efforts to contain the spread of the deadly virus have been hampered by poor road conditions and the lack of other logistical means.

The next few weeks are crucial in determining whether the outbreak announced in May can be brought under control, according to the World Health Organization.

A vaccination campaign is already under way in Mbandaka, the city of 1.2 million on the Congo River where four Ebola cases have been confirmed.

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"It's targeted vaccination. It's basically getting people who are identified as eligible to receive the vaccine; so contacts; and contacts of contacts". Until now, over 600 people that came into contact with the infected or suspected have been identified.

When Ebola hit the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in 2013 and 2014, killing more than 11,000 people, suspicion of health workers in their spacesuit-like protective gear also prompted patients to flee, helping accelerate the disease's spread. It has warned against global travel and trade restrictions.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a meeting in Geneva on Saturday that "I am personally committed to ensuring that we do everything we can to stop this outbreak as soon as possible".

Ebola has broken out nine times since 1976 and is the origin of hemorrhagic fever.

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The case fatality ratio for all confirmed cases admitted into Ebola treatment centres should be less than 50 percent, it said. After an incubation period that lasts between 2 to 21 days, the infected person may present symptoms such as high fever, headaches, muscular pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and in some cases internal and external hemorrhages.

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