An outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo that began April 22 has resulted in at least one death and possibly two others, according to the World Health Organization.
The Congo Ministry of Health notified the WHO of nine suspected cases of Ebola in the Aketi territory, in the northeastern province of Bas-Uele, WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier said.
Three people with the hemorrhagic fever have died, but only one death has been confirmed by the Congo’s National Institute of Biomedical Research as resulting from the Zaire strain of Ebola.
Officials suspect that the two other deaths were also caused by the highly infectious virus, which spreads through contact with bodily fluids.
Symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle pain, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain and hemorrhaging can begin two to 21 days after exposure.
The Zaire strain of the virus is one of the most lethal. A 2007 outbreak of this strain in Congo had a fatality rate of 74%, claiming 200 lives.
There is no approved vaccine to prevent the virus, and there is no approved treatment or cure
This is the eighth epidemic of Ebola that Congo has faced since 1976.