New Ebola Outbreak in Congo Has Killed 10

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Fifteen cases of Ebola have been discovered in the Democratic Republic of Congo, causing 10 deaths, according to an announcement by the World Health Organization.

This is a different strain than the Ebola outbreak that occurred in nearby Uganda in July. The cases were discovered in a town in the east called Province Orientale.

Three of the 10 deaths were of health care workers, with the infection occurring in three health zones. The deaths were confirmed by Doctors Without Borders, which added that there may be another six cases in another town called Isiro.

According to the CDC, Ebola hemorrhagic fever (Ebola HF) is an infection caused by the Ebola virus,  named after a river in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the disease was first found in 1976. There are five types of Ebola virus: Ebola-Zaire, Ebola-Sudan, Ebola-Ivory Coast, Ebola-Bundibugyo, and Ebola-Reston, which has only been found in non-human primates.

The disease is considered especially deadly because there is no treatment or vaccine. Its symptoms include fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, sore throat, and weakness, followed by diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. Sometimes rashes, red eyes, hiccups and internal and external bleeding may be observed. The virus is passed through direct contact of blood and/or secretions from an infected person. The incubation period for Ebola HF is two to 21 days, and symptoms manifest rather quickly.

If cases are diagnosed quickly enough, it is possible to give patients treatment to keep their fluids and electrolytes at appropriate levels, to help maintain their oxygen status and blood pressure, and to help manage any complicating infections.

With the Uganda outbreak in July, the disease was under control by Aug. 3, by officials isolating the 176 people who had had even momentary contact with those infected.

The strain in the Congo is not as deadly as the Uganda strain—but still extremely worrisome.

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