Published On: Mon, Jun 3rd, 2013

DRC Ebola outbreak ‘false alarm’, still unknown what killed three children

Nearly a week after a United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) bulletin, which reported on six suspected cases of Ebola hemorrhagic fever in the northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), health officials in the DRC say that Ebola has been “ruled out” as the cause of the six infected people, including the deaths of three children, according to a Channel News Asia report Monday.

Democratic Republic of Congo Image/CIA

Democratic Republic of Congo Image/CIA

Six cases were counted, including four minors under five and two adults, with fever and hemorrhage syndromes, but tests of the National Biomedical Screening Institute ruled out the Ebola, said health ministry official Benoit Kebela Ilunga.

He also stated infectious diseases that produce similar symptoms need to be looked at for testing to include typhoid fever, meningitis, yellow fever and severe malaria.

The DRC suffered its latest epidemic of Ebola in November, 2012, with epicenter in the region of Isiro, where 62 cases were identified, of which 34 people died.

Infections with Ebola virus are acute. There is no carrier state. Because the natural reservoir of the virus is unknown, the manner in which the virus first appears in a human at the start of an outbreak has not been determined.

People can be exposed to Ebola virus from direct contact with the blood and/or secretions of an infected person. Thus, the virus is often spread through families and friends because they come in close contact with such secretions when caring for infected persons. People can also be exposed to Ebola virus through contact with objects, such as needles, that have been contaminated withinfected secretions.

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The incubation period for Ebola HF ranges from 2 to 21 days. The onset of illness is abrupt and is characterized by fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, sore throat, and weakness, followed by diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. A rash, red eyes, hiccups and internal and external bleeding may be seen in some patients.

The death rate for Ebola HF can be up to 90%. There is no standard treatment for Ebola HF.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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